Early ACO results: First steps prove challenging

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Early ACO results: First steps prove challenging

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | August 08, 2013

Herson also mentioned straddling different payment models proved a challenge for his organization. But they fought back with a great deal of focus and support from senior leadership, and by looking to the former professional ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky for inspiration.

"We are in the state of hockey, so we always talk about how Gretzky was a great hockey player not because he went to where the puck was, but because he could anticipate where the puck would be," said Herson. "And we need to have that same kind of virtuosity to the work we are doing."

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Lessons learned
The white paper reveals several lessons for policymakers, payers, providers, and others interested in the feasibility of accountable care going forward.

Legal reforms will be required for successful movement to accountable care, along with novel policies supporting expanded primary care services, care coordination, the utilization of health IT, improved data availability and greater patient engagement, according to the paper.

Payers should encourage the leveraging of multiple payment and delivery reform models, like bundled payments and medical homes, along with ACO participation, the authors wrote.

Meanwhile, providers should consider how to best leverage their care improvement investments across their entire population.

"This [white paper] represents the early phases of ACO development," Audet said during the webinar. "First steps are the most important steps to set the stage for success and to be resilient to the changing environment under which health care lives today."

The white paper is titled: The Many Journeys to Accountable Care: 4 Case Studies.

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