FOCUS OF THE WEEK
C-Suite Hospital Execs Set Their Sight on ACOs
December 20, 2013, 08:05:01 AM
Katie Sullivan
Accountable care organizations (ACOs) might have their year in 2014, if recent survey findings are suggestive of future trends. According to a survey that polled 115 C-suite–level executives in 35 states, less than 25% of providers are expected to establish or join an ACO by the end of 2013. However, more than 75% of those same respondents said they planned to eventually join an ACO, meaning that ACO participation could meet the 50% mark by this time next year.

“The ACO transition is challenging for all providers, and it involves taking significant risks,” Wes Champion, senior vice president of Premier Performance Partners, said in an official release. “It’s understandable and appropriate that some providers have been more deliberate and cautious about when they participate in an ACO. And it’s clear that many are now prepared to proceed.”

The results also report that 72.5% of respondents are integrating clinical claims data to better manage population health, 50% are using predictive analytics to determine future patient/population needs, and just over 46% are using integrated data solutions to reduce silos. Additionally, many of the executives stated they are exploring new population health partnerships with both private and public payers.

“Providers are building the infrastructure and core capabilities essential to ACO formation, whether or not they’re in an ACO,” said Mr Champion. “This implies a new wave of ACO participants will likely emerge in future years as these partnerships mature.”

As providers, payers, and other executives aim to better coordinate care in order to improve the quality of patient outcomes and reduce costs, many executives are beginning to look at the ACO as a promising solution.

A. Mark Fendrick, MD, and Donovan T. Maust, MD, wrote in The American Journal of Accountable Care, which just launched this week on AJMC.com: “Albert Einstein’s quote, ‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,’  is often applied to United States healthcare. While the accountable care movement will not—on its own—provide the cure for what ails healthcare in the United States, its implementation marks a critical step in the evolution of healthcare from volume to value.”

Around the Web

More Than Half of U.S. Hospitals Aim for ACOs by 2015, Execs Say [Modern Healthcare]

Hospital C-Suite Survey Projects ACO Participation to Double in 2014 [Premier Press Release]