What makes an ACO succeed?

What makes an ACO succeed?


“An ACO can ensure savings not by cost-cutting but by increasing quantity and quality of care”

June 18, 2014

An accountable care organization (ACO) is a healthcare organization characterized by a payment and care delivery model that seeks to tie provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for an assigned population of patients. A group of coordinated health care providers forms an ACO, which then provides care to a group of patients. The ACO may use a range of payment models (capitation, fee-for-service with asymmetric or symmetric shared savings, etc.). Source: Wikipedia

This model of care delivery has generated a lot of interest. Though there has been varying degrees of success among different organizations that have implemented the ACO model, this model has the potential to transform the healthcare landscape.

Here is a look at the factors that contribute to the success of an ACO:

  1. Health IT Infrastructure– A flexible and robust Health IT infrastructure that is dynamic and provides real-time information sharing capabilities has been identified as one of the key factors by many CIOs. At the back-end, a solid data warehouse to store, retrieve and archive patient health information also makes an impact on the effective functioning of an ACO.

  2. Share Feedback– Generate performance reports and share them with providers with periodic time intervals. This helps providers understand the gaps and makes everyone in the system work in tandem.

  3. Training on EHR– Ultimately if the data is captured incorrectly into the EHR, everything goes for a toss. Conduct detailed training sessions for end-users of the EHR system. Cover aspects on how to capture data in a consistent and uniform manner. Provide constructive feedback to the EHR vendor on how users feel using their software.

  4. Structured and Layered Approach– Have multiples layers to provide care with adequate measures in place to ensure there is coordination between the various levels of the structure. This ensures optimal usage of available resources and faster delivery of care. For instance, local care providers providing timely preventive medical interventions prevent strain on a hospitals resources.

  5. Communication– Harness the power of technology to implement a secure messaging platform that is compliant with standards. Present information delivery across different platforms (website, mobile, tablets) in an integrated manner. One size fits all approach does not work for communicating information.


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