Majority of Senior Hospital Executives Uncertain of ACO Participation

A survey of senior executives at hospitals and health systems suggests the executives are uncertain about their organizations' positions on the Medicare Shared Savings Program, according to a news release by KPMG, one of the firms conducting the survey.

The survey, conducted by KPMG, EpsteinBeckerGreen and JHD Group, found 39 percent of the hospital and health system executives surveyed didn't know their organization's position in the Medicare ACO program. Just 17 percent of hospital and health system respondents said they planned to launch an ACO and enroll in the MSSP program by its launch date of Jan. 1, 2012. Nine percent said their organizations are not interested in participating.

The survey also found 50 percent of hospital and health system respondents said their ACO orientation would include a commercial accountable care like arrangement.

Challenges with physician buy-in was identified as one possible reason for delayed participation. Hospital and Health system respondents identified physician buy-in as the greatest challenge followed by cost (31 percent); staff and skill sets (22 percent); and management buy-in (11 percent). Regarding length of time to create an ACO, a majority (66 percent) of hospital and health system respondents said it will take at least a year or more. Many also felt that return on investment would be delayed, with 65 percent of hospital and health system respondents saying that it would take 25 months or more to see a return.

"There are still important questions about how accountable care fits into an organization's current strategy and business model, along with competing investment decisions, such as those related to ICD-10 and upgrading information technology," said Brad Benton, KPMG Healthcare's national account leader. "There are also enterprise-wide business considerations related to adopting an ACO model which are complex to evaluate, but the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system is under way and all healthcare organizations need to actively consider the related business model implications."

Related Articles on ACOs:
5 Important Findings on ACOs
California's John Muir Health Expected to Launch ACO in July 2012
OhioHealth, Medical Group of Ohio and Medical Mutual Form Collaborative Model

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