A Way to Speed ACO Adoption? Cut Payments to Hospitals That Don't Participate

One way the government can accelerate providers' transition to accountable care organizations is by cutting payments to hospitals that do not have ACO arrangements, according to a Wall Street Journal  blog post and op-ed written by Elliott Fisher, MD, a professor at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H.

Dr. Fisher said the fee-for-service model reinforces fragmentation in healthcare and provides a "powerful incentive" for physicians to perform unnecessary procedures or services. As a result, the care patients receive is impersonal, uncoordinated, unreliable and unsafe, he wrote.

There is also the financial component, as "rising costs are the single-most important cause of projected federal deficits and a major threat to state and local budgets, company bottom lines and personal incomes," Dr. Fisher wrote.

He proposed one strategy to accelerate providers' transition to value-based care, namely ACOs, to improve the patient experience and reduce wasteful healthcare spending.

"To slow the growth of spending, Congress should accelerate the transition to ACOs by setting a date in the near term when cuts to payment rates for physicians, hospitals and other providers who are not under ACO arrangements will be introduced," wrote Dr. Fisher. "Congress should also create financial incentives for commercial health plans to offer an ACO option to their members."

More Articles on Hospitals and ACOs:

9 Fewer Pioneer ACOs: Healthcare Experts on What This Means for Accountable Care
How Did Individual Pioneer ACOs Fare in Their First Year?
67% of Physicians Report No Personal Financial Benefit From ACOs

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