Jill Watson Views an ACO as Sitting on the Foundation of a PCMH

Implementing an accountable care organization well without having gone through the process of getting patient-centered medical home designation is a struggle, Jill Watson, MBA, chief executive officer of The Kansas City Metropolitan Physician Association, said at the National Association of ACOs Spring 2016 Conference.

Implementing an accountable care organization (ACO) well without having gone through the process of getting patient-centered medical home (PCMH) designation is a struggle, Jill Watson, MBA, chief executive officer of The Kansas City Metropolitan Physician Association, said at the National Association of ACOs Spring 2016 Conference.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How can patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) incorporate ACOs into the care model?

In our model, PCMH was the foundational principle of the physicians that got together in the first place. So I think even in our first year, which was 2013, we calculated that we had 75% of our 13,000 beneficiaries in a PCMH. And it's grown from there. There have been a few more clinics that have gotten their PCMH designation as an ACO.

So for us, an ACO kind of sits on the foundation of PCMH principles and from what we've seen for the couple of clinics that haven't been through that transformation, they really kind of struggle with some of the concepts and haven't done the heavy lifting with their team and even their physicians to get them on the same page of access to care, seeing each other's patients, what is the triage message on the phone lines, those kind of things.

So it's a huge part. I can't imagine doing an ACO very well with physicians who haven't been through that transformation and aren't familiar with those principles.