Pam Halvorson Says the Right Partner Is Critical for ACO Success

When accountable care organizations first started forming, the country thought it would be easier than it has been, but finding the right partner is crucial, said Pam Halvorson, regional vice president of clinic operations with Trinity Pioneer ACO.

Transcript (slightly modified)
How do you see accountable care organizations (ACOs) and their impact on healthcare and population health evolving?
I think the country initially thought it would be easy. And I heard a speaker (at the World Health Care Congress 2014) say "how hard you think it is: double it and double it again." And that couldn't have been more accurate. I see ACOs as a real opportunity to bring partners together and to see who is the right partner.

In my mind you have to have 3 things: you have to understand the science of the work, the finance of the work, but you have to understand the heart of the work as well. And I think that we will see with ACOs that those partners learn to work well together, who develop strong links and relationships between their partners will be the strongest.

Right now when you see competing ACOs you see one ACO going after the revenue of the other ACO and while this competition will help and will level out eventually, it can't be about other people's revenue. It has to be about whether or not the patient is getting the care they need and want, at the times they need and want it, without waste or duplication. And learning to have those relationships across to ensure that that doesn't happen to patients, is really where I think we'll end up.

We have the advantage, when I talk about relationship, of being very face to face. And that's our size. In larger ACOs it's knowing that the welfare of the partner that's bringing value to your patients needs to be important to you as well. So that that partner is always there able to take and deliver the kind of care you want to your patients.

I think we'll see that forge out and I think the very best will rise to the top.
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