By Gregg A. Masters, MPH
One of the few ACO gatherings I’ve missed since the birth of the industry (and there have been quite a few since there are ‘experts’ everywhere), but the line-up NEHI put together is well worth a look.
Both Steven Shortell and Molly Coye are definitely change agents on the front lines as is the balance of the faculty. Molly is pulling levers of a major institution with, some might say, an impossible reinvention agenda given its governance complexity and cost efficiency obstacles – unlike many other private institutions similarly challenged, while Shortell has a pulse on the healthcare ecosystem DNA, the macro policy dynamics of managed competition, and the empirics of business or service delivery models that work.
‘…NEHI is a nonprofit, health policy institute focused on enabling innovation that will improve health care quality and lower health care costs. Working in partnership with members from across the health care system, NEHI brings an objective, collaborative and fresh voice to health policy. We combine the collective vision of our diverse membership and our independent, evidence-based research to move ideas into action.’
As discussed elsewhere the battle at the moment is for the narrative on ACOs and by proxy the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”. For context see: The ACO Narrative: ‘Accountable Care 2.0 is a Journey, Not a Program’ or ‘ObamaCare is Toast’?
Key take-aways from the summit included:
- ACOs necessitate thinking about “packaged” innovations – the organizational culture, process improvements, and payment models that surround a particular innovation.
- Bundled payments, global budgets and other new ACO payment innovations are beginning to create the “markets for health” that will move the system from a culture of care to a culture of wellness.
- In an ACO world, physicians require comparative effectiveness research, real world evidence, and ongoing guidance from industry to achieve improved patient outcomes.
- ACOs are transforming the research landscape by turning previously unintegrated health systems into research organizations.
- ACOs have created new opportunities for cross-sector partnerships to share data and enhance the pace of innovation.