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New ACO Report Released!

We at ITUP are talking a lot about “system-ness” and “together-ness.” Whether via the blog, in our Issue Workgroups, in our Regional Workgroups, or as we begin planning our 15th Annual Conference, we are talking with others about this important time in healthcare for California.

Some feel that health reform will bring incremental changes to our system. We believe it holds the potential for us to make a quantum leap in how we do things. However, in order to reach this potential, we all will need to start thinking less in “silos” and more in “system-ness.”

What does this mean practically?

One real, concrete way to encourage “together-ness” is to help foster Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Do you know that an ACO is? Thanks to the great work of Sara Watson in our office, we have just released a informative, 12-page report on ACOs just for you.

In a nutshell, ACOs are teams of providers that manage and coordinate care for patients across different care settings to improve outcomes and share cost savings. The ACO concept creates an organization that is rewarded for improving quality of care, where providers are paid in a way that influences them to work together to improve health care outcomes. The goal of an ACO is to contain costs through better integration among health care providers, where delivering high quality of care is encouraged through financial rewards based upon performance measurement. If the ACO meets its performance and savings guidelines, the members receive a portion of these savings as an incentive for successful collaboration.

Want to know more, please read our ACO report.

We encourage you talk to us, your colleagues, and others about ways we all may be able to start working together in this post-reform world. Whether it’s through ACO’s, integration of the safety net, simplification of Medi-Cal or trough the Exchange, if we open ourselves up to the possibility, we might just create a healthcare system that is cheaper, more efficient, easier to navigate, and fosters better health outcomes for all Californians.