Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ACOs Are They a Social Media Experiment?

An email caught my attention this morning about the above flashing banner. It was published in “Accountable Care News”.  How Can Nurses Be Best Utilized in ACOs? by Mary Jean Schumann, DNP, MBA, RN, CPNP.

This question and many more like it are featured in this edition, including Positioning Specialty Services for Accountable Care by Philip Ronning

Volume 2, Issue 12 of Accountable Care News discusses key changes already proposed for the ACO rulings

Analysis of Key Changes from the
Proposed Rule
By Epstein Becker & Green, PC

The discussions are led by such luminaries as:

Molly Joel Coye, MD, MPH
Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health System
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Bruce Merlin Fried, Esq.
Partner, Health Care Group
Washington, DC

Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD
Center for Studying Health System Change
Washington, DC

Janet M. Marchibroda
Chair, Health Information Technology Initiative, Bipartisan Policy Center
Executive Director, Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care
Washington, DC

Paul Katz
Intelligent Healthcare
Santa Monica, CA

The Program encourages the formation and operation of ACOs by promising
to share Medicare’s savings from the program with those ACOs that:  (1) meet
eligibility requirements; and (2) meet the quality performance and Medicare cost
savings targets described in the Final Rule. 

The most significant changes in the final ACO regulations are around the measures for establishing quality performa scoring.  The final regulations move from 65 proposed measures to 33 final measures.  They also limit the requirement
around advanced care coordination across the patient’s care continuum
.  Initially, this was a major concern of many organizations since creating an advanced integrated technical infrastructure was very expensive, and in some cases cost
prohibitive to organizations.

The experts argue the final regulations appear to create a nice balance between driving care coordination around patient quality outcomes to
reduce costs, and not overburdening organizations with significant new infrastructure investments.

The Devil is in the details, you can read it if you have the stamina to read all 189 pages of governmental control and loss of  marketplace freedoms.

If and when Obama Care is repealed the ACO Mandate should be included.

A wave of anti-ACO sentiment has been expressed by many hospitals and practice entities.  The already integrated health systems such as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente and others seem to be already eligible but for meeting criteria for savings.  The changes herein seem an attempt to assuage the anger and hostility of independent hospitals and medical groups toward HHS and more federal control.

All of this ‘organizational activity’ stimulates more social interaction and will drive discussions on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and now, even Google plus.  Discussions will arise on Google Hangouts.



There are now several “Permanent Hangouts” indexed on Google plus. Click on “Permanent Hangouts” to see the directory, and add your own topic. The list can be found on Google plus using the G+extension.

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