Stephen Nuckolls Explains the Importance of Physician Buy-In for ACOs

In order to get physicians engaged and involved in accountable care organizations (ACOs), it is important to educate them on the mission and understand that the organization is looking to improve, not ration, care, Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Quality Care, explained at the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations Spring 2016 Conference.

In order to get physicians engaged and involved in accountable care organizations (ACOs), it is important to educate them on the mission and understand that the organization is looking to improve, not ration, care, Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Quality Care, explained at the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations Spring 2016 Conference.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What is the importance of getting physicians on board and involved in an ACO?

It's vitally important to get the physicians involved. They're the main drivers of care, especially in our organization. The business and finance types can help point the doctors in the direction where their costs may be higher, but it's vital to get the physicians involved because they are the ones who write the orders—order the tests—they're the ones who care for the patients and most effectively transform the care.

How do you get physicians engaged?

The first part of engagement is education: having them understand the mission and believe in the mission. It's very important for them to know that we're trying to improve care, and we're definitely not trying to ration care. And as we improve care, we can lower costs. I think that's the first part: to buy into the overall mission of the ACOs and the triple aim.