4. Preparing for an ACO
As health reform continues to roll out over the next few years, Firelands realizes its cost containment and outpatient volume growth efforts may not be sufficient to keep pace. Although the organization is "taking a wait-and-see approach" to forming an accountable care organization, according to Moncher, it is also making some preliminary steps in that direction.
"We don't want to be a leader, but we do realize that if the [ACO] model continues to gain traction, our relationships with physicians, especially primary care physicians, will be of the utmost importance," Moncher says.
"We're working with physicians groups to solidify the trust between all organizations and to be ready if we need to go down that road of an ACO. Then we'll have the building blocks in place."
Creating strong relationships with long-term care providers is also important to Firelands' strategy to be ready to move toward an ACO, if it becomes necessary, Moncher adds.
"We've got our toe in the water to solidify relationships with long-term care facilities with respect to an ACO and the continuum of care," he says. "We've had discussions at the senior management level to see who the major players are in our community. At the clinical level we have great relationships, but we need to start building some trust at the leadership level. How do we do that? Who are the key players? That's what we've started thinking about."