Hospitals Scrutinize ACOs

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , April 16, 2012

Slattery says patient accountability is a political land mine because "we've created a social system that supports the behavior that's counterproductive to health and wellness. Look at obesity." In that environment, he says it's very difficult to develop benefits and programs that can successfully incentivize appropriate behaviors and move patients to be more accountable to any care plans prescribed by their physicians.

There is general agreement among the survey respondents that organizations with ACOs will be better off in terms of cost control, patient outcomes, and patient engagement. However, respondents generally see no perceived advantage for ACOs in terms of patient loyalty or physician satisfaction.

Slattery expects that over time ACOs will provide advantages across the board as organizations adjust their models to balance the needs of their payers, providers, and patients. "Our focus is the triple aim. It will provide us with the equilibrium to out maneuver and out innovate our competition and to really enjoy the advantages of an ACO."

There still isn't a clear picture of how healthcare leaders expect ACOs to play a role in healthcare reform. There seems to be plenty of concern within the industry that ACOs are as much of a minefield as they are an opportunity to redefine healthcare deliver.

This article appears in the April 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Reprint HLR0412-3


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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5 comments on "Hospitals Scrutinize ACOs"

Art As Social Inquiry (4/20/2012 at 2:46 PM)
Recent statistics show that France gets the best outcomes while only spending 11 cents on the dollar. The US, the richest country ranks last of the first-world countries and spends the most [INVALID] 17 cents of every dollar. Just as Eisenhower was inspired by the German autobahns to create a great national highway system, we, in this country, might look to our European brethren to cherry pick the very best ideas for delivery of healthcare. They're doing it better. No, we are not the best in the world when it comes to healthcare - not when 50 mil go uninsured and 25 mil are under-insured. Time to swallow our ego and reinvent ourselves in a really big, creative, brave way when it comes to healthcare. And then maybe we can call ourselves the best in the world.

R Daniel King (4/19/2012 at 7:18 AM)
The present concept of an ACO is providers accepting riskier price controls than FFS and PPS price controls. Centuries of various attempts at price controls have proven that inflation, poor quality, shortages, lost talent, fraud, organized crime, limited access, etc. are deadly consequences. Health care is not immune. ACOs are not the cure and ObamaCare metastasizes the consequences making both dead concepts spending.

DonS (4/18/2012 at 1:23 PM)
Not surprising hospitals arent jumping on the ACO bandwagon. The premise is that an ACO will keep people healthier and OUT of the hospital. To reduce costs, it is not by trimming around the edges, but by eliminating the NEED for the care in the first place. Reducing admissions and bed days is the goal. Hospitals are not eager to see these succeed.




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