A white paper by the Integrated Healthcare Association examines lessons learned from ACO development in California.
Ten key lessons outlined in the paper are:
- An organization's capabilities, culture, infrastructure and goals are as important as organizational structure in delivering high quality, coordinated care;
- Aligning incentives between hospitals and physician organizations can offer opportunities for performance improvement;
- Payment methods should vary across ACOs depending on an organization’s ability to assume risk;
- Health plans working together on payment methods and performance measurement can play a key role in ACO development;
- ACOs are not a panacea for health care spending control;
- ACOs must be agnostic to insurance type;
- Balancing patient choice with the desire to decrease costs and effectively coordinate care is a challenge of ACO development;
- Regulating the financial solvency of health care provider organizations is essential to ensuring market stability;
- Consumer protections from capitated provider organizations should not be burdensome;
- Special attention must be given to establishing ACOs in areas with social and economic challenges.
(Source: Integrated Healthcare Association White Paper, http://www.iha.org, October, 2010)