The Formula for a Successful ACO Partnership

Published February 25, 2016

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that 65 Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) missed out on bonus payments from CMS due to poor quality.  And the challenges for ACOs continue to grow, leading many to search for partners that can improve performance.

Creating effective partnerships was a key focus at last month’s Care Coordination and Technology Congress’ 2nd Annual ACO Population Summit. The conference focused on how partnerships can help ACOs address important challenges, including: how to improve value-based care; improve overall health; and reduce cost. Many thought-leaders from around the country were on hand to share best practices and lessons learned.

Dr. Michael Cantor, CareCentrix’s newly-appointed Chief Medical Officer, was a featured speaker at the event. His presentation focused on how ACOs can leverage networks and partnerships to increase quality care, lower costs, and improve patient experience.  He suggested three qualities an ACO should look for in its partners:

Select the right partner to create a high performance clinically integrated network.
For example, post-acute network providers should be chosen based on quality and performance data.   Selecting the right post-acute provider can potentially lower costs and improve outcomes, while still ensuring good patient experience.

Identify the right patients and provide them with timely and impactful services.

It is really important to analyze claims data and patient preferences with predictive tools to systematically and consistently identify the right patients and target them for interventions. Our solutions allow us to create patient-specific risk assessments and care paths reducing readmissions up to 36% and total patient episode costs, reducing total patient episode costs by up to 30%.

Ongoing, consistent patient engagement and collaboration across the care management continuum is essential.
Delivery of coordinated, accountable care at home requires an actionable care plan, a virtually connected care team, and timely patient engagement. Technology can provide consistency, transparency, and enhanced clinical reliability in a fragmented home care system. We are investing in the HomeBridge platform to allow patients and all providers to participate across the care continuum.

The growing need for population management will make it important for ACOs to find the right partners who can join forces to increase their value-based care offerings, help improve the overall health of their population and, as an added benefit, reduce their medical costs.  All of these components are crucial for the lasting success of an ACO.