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The American Journal of Accountable Care December 2015
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Now That ACOs Are Engaged, What About Those Patients?
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Now That ACOs Are Engaged, What About Those Patients?

Mary K. Caffrey
New goals from CMS and a new law, MACRA, will bring more change in 2016. But patients remain the same-even with new technology and electronic medical records, getting them to invest in their own care takes patience, as attendees discussed at the ACO and Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition fall meeting in Palm Harbor, Florida.
The days are over when employers were unwilling to raise pre­miums too much or change the cost-sharing formulas, or both, Binder said. “In the old days, you weren’t going to try things. You weren’t willing to be too bold because you wanted your employ­ees to still like you,” she said. “That’s changed because of the Cadillac tax. There’s much more aggressiveness from purchasers (of healthcare) than we’ve ever seen.”

But because people spend so much for care, they pay clos­er attention to what they are buying—and some things haven’t changed. Patients want doctors and hospitals they trust, and they value safety, she said.

“You have to take your consumers and your patients very se­riously,” Binder said. The concept of an ACO is not something patients understand. The concept of protecting patients from infection is something they get, so ACOs should be passionate about this, because patients will respond. “It’s a guaranteed way to build market share. I’m amazed at how much emotion it can elicit.”

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