6 Recent Studies on Physician Alignment and ACOs

Here are six studies, surveys or white papers from the past two weeks that reveal trends in accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes and hospital-physician alignment.

1. Study: Less Than 25% of Medical Residents Choosing Internal Medicine

Very few medical residents are going into general medicine and are instead choosing subspecialties, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

2. Survey: 1% of Healthcare Communicators Feel Prepared to Explain ACOs to Patients
Although three-quarters of Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development members consider communication "very" or "extremely" important to the overall success of an accountable care organization, only 38 percent felt adequately prepared to communicate the initiative to internal and external audiences, according to a recent blog post from healthcare communications firm Jarrard Philips Cate & Hancock.

3. Study: Maryland's Pay-for-Performance Programs Cut Costs, Infections

Two hospital pay-for-performance programs in Maryland saved money and improved quality of care in hospitals, including the reduction of hospital-acquired conditions, according to a new study published in Health Affairs.

4. Hospital-Owned Physician Groups See Greater Jump in Operating Costs

Physicians in hospital- or health system-owned multispecialty practices saw a larger jump in operating costs last year than providers in physician-owned groups, according to a recent MGMA-ACMPE report.

5. 3 False ACO Readiness Assumptions
As the accountable care organization model grows in popularity, many assumptions about how to operate as a successful ACO have surfaced. However, according to a new paper from The Commonwealth Fund and the Premier healthcare alliance, three of the most widely accepted assumptions have not held true.

6. Study: Medical Homes Reduce Cost for Complex Patients

Patient-centered medical homes can reduce the cost of care for patients with complex medical issues, according to a study by the HealthPartners Research Foundation.

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