Dr Risa Lavizzo-Mourey on ACOs' Role in Population Health

ACOs have great potential in helping achieve a more value-based delivery system, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, outgoing president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also discussed the challenges that safety net ACOs face in delivering care with fewer resources.

ACOs have great potential in helping achieve a more value-based delivery system, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, outgoing president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also discussed the challenges that safety net ACOs face in delivering care with fewer resources.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How do you see ACOs and their impact on population health evolving in the future?

Accountable care organizations are a relatively new phenomenon, but already they’re showing how they can shift the way we think about healthcare delivery. They are focused on better coordination, reducing waste, much better accountability for what patients actually want from the healthcare system. And so in a culture of health where we’re keenly interested in making sure that we’re getting the highest value for our healthcare dollar, accountable care organizations are really one of the bright lights that may lead us to being able to actually do that, within our very constrained healthcare resources.

How do the impacts of safety net ACOs on community health differ from other ACOs?

ACOs that are focused on the safety net population really are faced with delivering care to very complex patients, often in settings that are resource-constrained. If they have more than 30% Medicaid reimbursement, they’re going to have fewer resources coming in, and often the community does not have as many community-oriented resources. So you put all that together and the safety net ACOs really are dealing with a very high level of complexity, and have to draw on all of the resources of the community in order to ensure the health of that population.