Patient Engagement and ACOs: A Timely Union or Cute Ad Copy?

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

We previously (see: National ACO Patient Engagement Benchmarking Survey) brought attention to a national patient engagement bench-marking survey wherein @ACOwatch collaborated with Dave Chase, et al at Avado to field an instrument.

While at ‘The ACO Must…’ Towards an Operational Definition of ‘Patient Engagement’ we addressed the indica of patient engagement as well as the statutory context of Section 425.112: Required processes and patient-centeredness criteria.

And, the results are in…..well, sort of at least. Very few responses were submitted.  As we discussed on the front end, given the state of the industry at the moment, with high degrees of immaturity including systems, people and workflows, there are too many moving parts, lots of other priorities and likely a dearth of best practices to document and bench-mark.

So the net take away may be this is both a fluid and somewhat opaque segment in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Yet successful ACOs are likely to leverage their approach to patient engagement as powerful competitive differentiators in their local and/or regional markets.

ENGAGEIn this relative vacuum of best practices, I will be moderating the ‘Driving Patient Engagement Innovation in an ACO World panel’ at ENGAGE on June 6th, 2013. Joining in the conversation are: Todd Rothenhaus, Chief Medical Officer, athenahealth, Lanie Abbott, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and Colin Ward, Executive Director, Greater Baltimore Health Alliance Physicians, LLC.

This will be a fun and informative panel, so please join us.


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