"This is a sign of two big powers in the Dallas-Fort Worth market preparing for what is going to happen with healthcare reform and how they are going to cope with cuts in reimbursements as a result of deficit reduction," says John G. Self, an executive staffing consultant and veteran observer of the DFW healthcare market.
"They are both smart to get ahead of the curve. You have to have these affiliations and networks on the payer side and you have to look at your own organization to get rid of nonessential costs. You have to do both."
Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health, said in prepared remarks earlier this month that the deal with BCBSTX was "another example of the innovative approaches that we believe will lead to truly effective healthcare reform."
"Texas Health has been advancing the concept of putting more emphasis on keeping people healthy and out of the hospital and developing new programs like this ACO to help employers keep their employees healthy. By creating this ACO, Texas Health is delivering on our promise to collaborate with physicians, payers, employers and other health systems to align the efforts of all of us around what is best for the patient across the entire continuum of care," Hawthorne said.
Self says it's a good idea from a marketing perspective to talk up the establishment of the ACOs, especially in the wake of the Baylor/Scott & White merger announcement.