Brian Marcotte: What Employers Are Looking for From an ACO

Having employers and accountable care organizations agree on expectations is necessary for better alignment of care offered, explained Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health.
Published Online: September 12, 2017


Having employers and accountable care organizations agreeing on expectations is necessary for better alignment of care offered, explained Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health.

Transcripts (slightly modified)
Does there need to be better alignment between what employers are looking for from an accountable care organization (ACO) and what ACOs are offering?
I think it’s really more about agreeing on what expectations are and making sure expectations are aligned. So, an early-stage ACO is going to focus primarily on the 5% of the population that drives 50% of the cost—the better care coordination, better management within the provider community, and the specialty community. What does that mean for the rest of the population? It doesn’t mean much.

So, from an employer perspective, I just want to know where this ACO is from a developmental standpoint, so I know what to communicate to my members. If it’s an early-stage ACO, an employer who has chronic conditions and an employee who is fairly healthy, is not going to seem much different. A later-stage ACO, who’s doing more outreach to chronic patients and moderate-risk patients—well there is something different there. So, it’s really aligning expectations.

There’s nothing wrong with an early-stage ACO, it’s just understanding that it’s early stage, and you will see things different from that then you will from an ACO that’s more mature.


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