The former president of Advocate Physician Partners says it's a slow process to get newly hired physicians smoothly cobbled into an accountable care organization. But "culture is the main determinant" of an ACO's success.
Marty Manning built "one of the nation's leading clinical integration programs," as his new bosses describe it. The former president of Advocate Physician Partners, Manning helped design managed care contracts and other personnel ventures involving 4,000 physicians in nine hospitals within the Advocate Health Care System, based in the Chicago area. In that role, he worked to build consensus among private and employed physicians.
He did the job for eight years, and it was fun, Manning told me. "We had gotten to be a mature and successful organization … and I enjoyed the business incubation in different circumstances." In the process, he saw in accountable care organization development "so much opportunity."
So much that the prospect of more ACO development work effectively prompted Manning to leave his job. In May, he resigned from Advocate Physician Partners and joined Health Directions as executive VP to lead physician integration, clinical integration and especially ACO practices at the healthcare consulting firm based in Oakbrook Terrace, IL.
He wanted to do something slightly different.
"I feel with the innovations and experimentations going on right now [within ACOs], it's absolutely the right thing for improving outcomes for patients, as well as addressing the cost problems [that are] unavoidable at this point," Manning says.