ACOs Have 3 Fatal Flaws, Experts Say
The authors believe the following three assumptions will lead to the failure of ACOs and healthcare reform:
1. ACOs will prompt physicians to alter their care delivery. "Many proponents of ACOs believe that doctors automatically will begin to provide care different from what they have offered in the past," the authors wrote. They argued that physicians need to be reeducated and retrained to provide care in an ACO, but even after that effort, "the result would be uncertain."
2. Change in patient behavior is not necessary. Providers in an ACO are responsible for their patients' care costs, regardless of where they receive care — a flaw the authors find unfair. "ACOs hold caregivers accountable without requiring patient accountability. How can this work?" the authors wrote. Patients may not comply with treatments suggested by physicians and can also choose to not share their medical history or claims data with the organization, which can be a detriment to the ACO responsible for their care.
3. ACOs will save significant amounts of money. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the savings from CMS' 32 Pioneer ACOs would be about $1.1 billion over five years, according to the authors. The authors said this is "insignificant," as Medicare's budget is $468 billion. They also said commercial organizations will provide "relatively small reductions" in healthcare spending.
More Articles on ACOs:6 Recent Stories on ACOs and Population Health Management
ACOs Reach Half of U.S. Population
Stickiness: Why it's a Must-Have for Any ACO
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2017. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.