ACA Inspired ACOs Doomed to Fail?

by Tom Emerick

First posted on Cracking Health Costs on 02/19/2013

Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking health Care Costs

A terrific op ed in the Wall Street Journal questions the viability of many of the ACOs being “spurred” by the Accountable Care Act. The article suggests that many such ACOs are doomed to fail.

Says the op ed, “The first untenable assumption is that ACOs can be successful without major changes in doctors’ behavior.”

Further, “The second mistaken assumption is that ACOs can succeed without changing patient behavior.”

“The third and final flawed assumption of the Affordable Care Act is that ACOs will save money.”

Good “accountable” health systems exist today because accountability is in their core culture.  Converting a fee-for-service-driven system to an ACO can succeed but will require huge cultural changes…huge…throughout the entire system, and some internal disruption.  I’ve seen systems convert successfully.  But, just painting on an ACO veneer won’t do it.

This is a good and timely read.  Click here to read the full article.

Patricia Salber MD, MBA (@docweighsin)
Patricia Salber, MD, MBA is the founder and host of The Doctor Weighs In. She is also the CEO of Health Tech Hatch, the sister site of TDWI that helps innovators tell their stories to the world. She is also a physician executive who has worked in all aspects of healthcare including practicing emergency physician, health plan executive, consultant to employers, CMS, and other organizations. She is a Board Certified Internist and Emergency Physician who loves to write about just about anything that has to do with healthcare.

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