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Jeb Dunkelberger: Value-Based Organizations Are Here to Stay

Although the term "accountable care organization" (ACO) may not be here to stay, value-based organizations are here to stay based on the direction CMS is headed, said Jeb Dunkelberger, vice president of accountable care services at McKesson and clinical & commercial operations at ACO Partner.


Although the term "accountable care organization" (ACO) may not be here to stay, value-based organizations are here to stay based on the direction CMS is headed, said Jeb Dunkelberger, vice president of accountable care services at McKesson and clinical & commercial operations at ACO Partner.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Are ACOs here to stay? Or are they a stepping stone to the next delivery model?

I think that when you look at ACOs, I don’t know if the vernacular is here to stay. I like to call them value-based organizations because as I look at an ACO, I look at somebody who is unifying patients, providers, and stakeholders. I’ll look at somebody who’s aligning incentives in a way that is increasing quality of care and decreasing avoidable cost. And I look at somebody who at the end of the day buys into the fact that if I increase the patient population health, I can decrease overall cost.

I don’t know if it’s going to be an ACO. But there’s no question I believe it’s here to stay. I think when you look at comprehensive primary care plus (CPC plus), when you look at MACRA [Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act], when you look at APMs [alternative payment models], Medicare has done a beautiful job showing us where they’re going. CMS has done an amazing job saying, ‘here’s the direction we’re taking’ and I think it’s our job to then read off that, look at payers in the market—where are they going with it? Look at the commercial versus public ACOs. I mean there is no question that we are moving forward.

There’s some great analysis in the market right now that’s showing the amount of patients that are being covered by ACOs and how quickly it’s growing and I think that although we may not call it an ACO depending upon who wins the general election, I think value-based organizations are here to stay.

 
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