ACO’s: Now We’re Just Being Silly

By Jeffrey L. Cohen By now, every physician has heard the term “Accountable Care Organization.” They have also heard the term “Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” which elicits similar response. We all know for instance ACOs are being proposed as the new healthcare delivery platform for the masses and that they are more an idea, an experiment, than …

‘Culture Wars’ at CMS?

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH The first declaratory though public announcement on when industry stakeholders could expect the highly anticipated guidance via the first round of a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) process, was Q4 2010. Subsequent updates has suggested first a January, and now February, release date. Some of the skeptics referring to CMS as a ‘black box’ …

Waiting for CMS

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH While we observe serial revisions in public release dates for the notice of proposed rules on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), lets play reading the “Berwick Tea Leaves’ particularly with respect to Administrator Berwick’s recent itemization of ‘the common core’ [of ACO’s] to attendees at the recent Brooking’s Event, ‘Achieving Better Care at …

Virginia Mason’s Clinical Transformation: Hard Work, Big Payoff

By Jeff Goldsmith In the ten months since the passage of health reform, health care managers, particularly those in hospitals and health systems, have struggled to make sense of an onslaught of change in Medicare policy.  The response has been depressing:  an accelerating wave of merger and acquisition activity, both horizontal hospital mergers and an …

6 Reasons Your ACO Will Fail (A Series) – Any One Will Do!

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH No. 1 – The ‘O, G & E’ Card At UC Berkeley in the 70s, the secretary in the Department of Psychology pasted a bumper sticker on her desk positing the humility laced question: ‘…you may be correct [in your storied judgment], but are you asking the right questions?’ For …

ACOs Forging the Links

By Ken Terry for HHN Magazine What hospitals need to know about accountable care; No. 1: Build strong relationships with physicians Building an accountable care organization is viewed by many hospital executives as the holy grail as they try to figure out how to better manage patient care across the continuum and as they brace …

Achieving Better Care at Lower Costs through ACOs

A Brookings Event at The Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Medicare Shared Savings program to implement Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), coordinated networks of providers with shared responsibility for providing better care at lower costs. Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are …

ACOs Can Work with Physicians in Charge | Study Looks at Effectiveness of a Primary Care-Led Accountable Care Organization

By Victoria Stagg Elliott, Amednews A hospital partner may not be necessary for an accountable care organization to be effective, according to a report analyzing a primary care-led ACO. Physicians increasingly are selling their practices to hospitals, which are buying in preparation for the development of ACOs and other aspects of health system reform. People …

Will Accountable Care Organizations Become ‘HMOs In Drag”?

By Patricia Salber, M.D. via ‘The Doctor Weighs In’ Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are supposed to be provider-led (physician groups +/- hospitals) and, they are supposed to inject a new accountability, at the provider level, for the value of services delivered.  You know the old equation.  VALUE=QUALITY/COST.  Those of us inside the health policy “beltway” …

Are ACO’s Good or Bad for Competition?

By Naveen aka @naveen101 Earlier this week, I sat in on a roundtable discussion of health insurance plan CEO’s from around the country. The topic jumped from Medicare Advantage bonus payments to general quality improvement, to the insurance industry’s perception by Joe Q. Public, and of course, what role health plans will end up playing in …