Monday, January 6, 2014

ACO Expectations may be Unrealistic



According to a survery of  115 Hospital C-Level executives reveal that about 18% are participating in accountable care organization activities.  This figure is increased from 5% % in 2012.   Half of respondents expect to be in an ACO by the end of 2014.

Whether that lofty figure can be reached remains to be seen. Provider alliance Premier Inc. conducted the new survey in August but only recently released results. The spring 2012 survey found that nearly 52 percent of respondents expected to be in the ACO arena by the end of 2013. Now, Premier estimates only 23.5 percent will reach that goal.

A further analysis of hosptial size revealed: 

Non-rural hospitals are most likely to participate in an ACO, followed by hospitals in integrated delivery systems; and rural hospitals are least likely to participate, followed by standalone facilities.

Large hospitals are moving more quickly toward ACOs than smaller ones, although the majority of surveyed hospitals are making infrastructure investments to manage population health.

This may be effected by the availability of capital resources which are often lacking in smaller institutions, and a much smaller group of medical providers and/or a lack of specialty access.

These investments include lifestyle and wellness coaching by more than 70 percent of respondents, telemedicine by almost half of rural facilities compared with one-third of non-rural hospitals, and patient-centered medical homes, which are popular for all types.

The efforts include a wide variety of investments to increase utiilization of the ACO as a public health resource. 

* The investments include lifestyle and wellness coaching by more than 70 percent of respondents, telemedicine by almost half of rural facilities compared with one-third of non-rural hospitals, and patient-centered medical homes, which are popular for all types.
* Fifty-one percent of responding hospitals are partnering with large local employers to improve care.
* Large numbers of respondents are gearing up for analytics to support population health. More than 72 percent are integrating claims and clinical data, half are using predictive analytics to forecast needs and 46 percent are using a data warehouse to reduce information silos.
* More than 40 percent are partnering with insurers, particularly for upside-only shared savings programs.

The programs require strategic rethinking of hospital scope of care.  The effort will require integration of previously unlinked services in preventive medicine, and health, wellness and nutrition.







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