4 Principles For Maintaining a Successful ACO Model

In a recent webinar hosted by the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Plymouth, Mass.-based Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization and The Geneia Institute, Richard A. Parker, MD, CMO at BIDCO, Lynn Nicholas, president and CEO of MHA, and Heather Lavoie, president of The Geneia Institute, provided principles for launching and maintaining a successful accountable care organization.

"Massachusetts has one of the highest concentrations of ACOs in the country, and is home to five of the 32 Pioneer ACOs chosen by Medicare to lead the nation, including some of the most successful Pioneer ACOs nationally," said Ms. Nicholas.

At BIDCO, "we fully embraced the opportunity to become a Pioneer ACO," said Dr. Parker. BIDCO is one of nearly 600 ACOs created by hospitals and physician groups in the five years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 "To get started, we focused our efforts in four areas: information technology, clinical infrastructure and leadership, and physician-hospital collaboration," said Dr. Parker. The result was an "environment where physicians and hospitals can work collaboratively to enhance patient experience, improve care quality and reduce costs," he added.

Data and analytics are extremely important to maintaining a successful ACO model. "ACOs need sufficiently detailed data to drive decision making," said Ms. Lavoie. "To perform well ACOs need data that is accurate at the provider and patient level," she said. This allows ACOs to see trends and to plan for changes going forward. "Analytics are critical to ACO success because without analytics you're flying blind," she added. 

Dr. Parker said coordinated care from collaboration of physicians and hospitals is necessary for ACO success. "There are so many areas care quality can be improved, and physicians and hospitals have to be working on quality in all domains," he said. This requires continuous communication among the care team.   

ACO success is reliant on a strong primary care focus and "a true population health approach," said Ms. Levoie.

Dr. Parker agreed with Ms. Levoie and added that ACOs require population management. Populations need to be stratified based on many criteria such as risk level and cost for treatment.

Implementing the right technology is also necessary for maintaining ACO success. Ms. Lavoie said electronic health records "aren't built for true population health," and it crucial for ACOs to determine the right software for their organization because there is not a one-size-fits all system.

More Articles on ACOs:

Aetna, Fresenius Medical Care Enter Into Collaborative Care Agreement
HealthCare Partners, Anthem Save $4.7M Through ACO
7 Recently Announced ACOs


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars