Dr Farzad Mostashari: ACOs Could Face Patient Backlash

July 11, 2016

One of the biggest concerns Farzad Mostashari, MD, chief executive officer of Aledade, has about accountable care organizations, is that they are going to experience backlash similar to what managed care has received in the past.

One of the biggest concerns Farzad Mostashari, MD, chief executive officer of Aledade, has about accountable care organizations (ACOs), is that they are going to experience backlash similar to what managed care has received in the past. It is crucial to reassure all those involved that patients are receiving more and better care while monitoring things like claims data and quality, he said at the National Association of ACOs Spring 2016 Conference.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What concerns do you have about patient backlash to ACOs as they try to provide better quality at lower costs?

You know, you’re The American Journal of Managed Care, and it was founded, I think, in the mid-90s at peak managed care. And since then there’s been kind of this decline in the way managed care is viewed. It became viewed as synonymous (sorry) with gatekeeping, synonymous with people getting less. Not fantastic coordinated, not more accessible and more informed care.

And I think that’s too bad because I do think that there were elements of that that were really fantastic, and I worry that that same backlash is going to hit the next iteration of this new movement.

Yes, we have better data; yes, we have new analytics; yes, we have new technologies; yes, the rules are smarter; yes, quality counts, it’s not just cost. But unless we really reassure our providers, reassure our patients, reassure the public, reassure the policy makers and politicians, that this isn’t “you get less care for less money, this is actually you getting more and better care,” then we face that backlash. And I think one of the things we have to do is we have to have a really robust set of stinting quality measures that you can put together and say, “Hey, look at this. We’re asking a bunch of questions of patients like how easy was it to see a specialist, and did you get the care you needed?”

We’re monitoring claims data, we’re monitoring quality to make sure people don’t skimp on things that maybe cost money now but are going to save people down the line. And we can provide an assurance that these ACOs are successful on reducing cost and not at the cost and benefit of the patient.