Accountable care organizations
• Family physicians embracing change
Family physicians from all types of practices are joining together to create accountable care organizations that share responsibility for the care coordination, quality, and cost for their specific patient population. ACOs work with payers, typically Medicare, to achieve the triple aim for their patients.
The Family Physician’s ACO Blueprint for Success
Developed by AAFP, TAFP, and several other state chapters, this two-part guide helps family physicians develop their strategy to evaluate and implement a successful accountable care organization. Part One examines these new organizations and identifies essential elements, transcending specialty or facility to be applicable to all ACO stakeholders. Part Two applies the principles and processes of the guide specifically for the family physician.
> The Family Physician’s ACO Blueprint for Success
ACO Legal Primer
Mentioned in the Blueprint for Success as available upon request, the legal primer is now available to download. The information has been updated to include the guidance submitted by the federal regulators when the CMS-proposed ACO regulations were issued in April.
> ACO Legal Primer
The Family Physician’s Practice Affiliation Guide
From the strategic perspective of a family physician, this guide explores the reasons driving the trends toward collaboration and affiliation, weighs the advantages and disadvantages of various affiliation options, and provides a detailed analysis of the hospital employment model. Carefully considering integration and following guideposts could assure a successful and sustainable partnership.
> The Family Physician’s Practice Affiliation Guide
Embracing change in the Valley
A small group of independent primary care docs in and around McAllen built a successful ACO from scratch and just saved $6 million in Medicare spending. Here’s how they did it.
> Read this fall 2014 Texas Family Physician article
Physician-led ACO or hospital employment?
Health care lawyer Bo Bobbit weighs the differences between physicians creating accountable care organizations and being employed by hospital or health systems.
> Read this summer 2014 article from Texas Family Physician
Health system reformers hope the ACO is a game-changer. Are you ready to play?
This article pays particular attention to the potential impact of ACOs on solo and small-group family physicians.
> Read the cover story from Texas Family Physician, Vol. 62, No 1 | Winter 2011
ACO resources from the Commonwealth Fund
This resource page provides links to the Commonwealth Fund’s publications and blog posts on ACOs. The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that supports independent research on health care issues and awards grants to improve health care practice and policy.
> Accountable Care Organizations: Commonwealth Fund Resources
ACO resources from Kaiser Health News
This resource page provides links to Kaiser Health News’ coverage of ACOs and to CMS fact sheets. KHN is a major program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit private operating foundation.
> Accountable Care Organization Proposed Regulations: Resources
AAFP’s resources on ACOs
Find answers to many of your ACO questions on AAFP’s website, including information about payment, shared savings, practice risk, and legal issues.
> AAFP ACO resources
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
The Innovation Center is dedicated to educating health care stakeholders about the ACO model and ACO development. Explore the Innovation Center’s website to learn more about MSSP, the Pioneer ACO model, the Advance Payment Initiative, and the ACO Accelerated Development Learning Sessions.
> The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
Clinical integration demystified
Shortly after stepping down as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Don Berwick, M.D., delivered a visionary speech at an Institute for Healthcare Improvement conference in which he said our nation is at a crossroad. “The care we have simply cannot be sustained. It will not work for health care to chew ever more deeply into our common purse. If it does, our schools will fail, our roads will fail, our competitiveness will fail. Wages will continue to lag, and, paradoxically, so will our health. The choice is stark: chop or improve.”
> Read this Texas Family Physician Winter 2012 article