While my other post talked about the IT priorities of the ACO, I believe that a large part of the ACO (Accountable Care Organization) effort driven by CMS is about creating a provider-centric approach to care management. While medicine certainly began as a provider to patient relationship, that has changed over the years to a managed care driven relationship. This peaked years ago with the HMO backlash that led to the revised system that most of us have grown accustomed to operating within.
Then, with the discussions around exchanges, Medicare, and the individual market, we’ve seen a shift to a more patient-centric approach to healthcare focused on the patient experience and understanding their behavior. Is anyone necessarily wrong – no. But, there needs to be a balance. I personally think that the ACO approach is trying to build some of that with a Kaiser type of framework. Physicians would be at the heart of the solution with technology, process, and financial support from managed care companies and medical management companies. And, they would have to partner with the patient to really affect behavior and ultimately health outcomes.
Will it work? Who knows. There have been a lot of smart people who have spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out health outcomes and cost with limited effect in any scalable way.
There have been a few initial articles about ACO success:
There have also been a few people talking about ACO 3.0 and the future of how ACOs will evolve from what we know today.
Of course, most of this is focused on the CMS ACO model while others are using the “ACO” moniker as a framework for pay-for-performance (P4P) within the physician world.
[To see more about our physician directed Accountable Care Solutions at inVentiv Medical Management, click here. Or contact me if you're interested in how we're applying these to support ACO and "ACO-like" organizations in their efforts to engage consumers and drive health outcomes.]