Preserving the Concept of Physician-Led ACOs

In the recent New England Journal of Medicine article Launching Accountable Care Organizations- The Proposed Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Dr. Donald Berwick noted that “a critical foundation of the proposed rule (on ACOs) is an unwavering focus on patients.”

The best way to focus on patients is to ensure that decisions are being made by those directing care – the physicians. It is undeniable that ACOs may be structured in various formats with group practices, networks of individual practices, hospitals or a combination there of. In order to uphold the patient centered focus it is important to preserve the physician led ACO construct.

Even with national trending showing that more and more physicians are moving towards employed organizational models, there is still the opportunity and necessity for physician leadership. Encouraging physicians to think outside the box in terms of partnerships will ultimately allow innovative models of ACO development.

To learn more about ACOs, accountable care delivery models and the things your practice can do to prepare join us on September 13 for our fall program, A Path to Accountable Care Organizations: How Do We Get There From Here? Visit www.massmed.org/aco2011 for more information.

– By Kerry Ann Hayon
Manager, MMS Physician Practice Resource Center

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