3 steps to a rock solid ACO


As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve and transform the approach to managing patient care, new innovations, such as accountable care organizations (ACO), are success stories. 

Premier Health Collaborative is ahead of the game, and has advised close to 30 Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) applicants on how to create and manage a successful ACO, which includes how to determine the adequacy of the ACO primary network, according to a recent Health Affairs blog post

Listed below are a few key lessons from Premier on how to build a successfull, as mentioned on the blog post: 

1. Personalize the plan

The MSSP calls for ACOs to truly focus on the needs for their ACO beneficiaries--everything from ensuring a smooth transition of care to making sure beneficiaries understand the type of care they will receive. The concept of personal, face-to-face time--which stemmed from patient-centered medical homes' idea of assisting patients to manage their chronic diseases and encourage healthy choices--is crucial.

Teamwork truly is the building block to success. ACOs that generate the most savings over time, while improve overall health outcomes, develop a strong, committed leadership team, note the blog post's authors.

2. Patient engagement

Members of successful ACOs engage with their team--managers and health coaches--actively. It's important to embrace technology and use email, private portals or mobile apps to ensure real-time communication between all members of the team.

Since many beneficiaries are unable to manage their care alone, the concept of active engagement builds trust for the patient, who will then seek care within the ACO network, write the authors.

3. Manage halo effect

ACOs should assume they're responsible for all beneficiaries' costs, since they cannot be certain which beneficiaries will be assigned to them. Successful ACOs understand this so-called "halo effect," and budget appropriately to manage changes in utilization.

Thus, if an ACO implements same-day scheduling, this applies to all patients--meaning many organizations coordinate their ACO with one or more payer, in order to establish savings arrangements.

For more:
- here's the blog post

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