Study: Accountable Care Organization tools have lukewarm impacts on cost savings, improvement in healthcare
In an attempt to give better care at lower costs, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) offer several tools for physicians who engage in those programs. But when inquired about the efficiency of those tools in a latest Health Affairs survey, most physicians were lukewarm on the topic, demonstrating that their own tools and processes could just as conveniently be used to help in the transition from volume to value.
Of the tools and resources given by Accountable Care Organizations -- performance feedback reports, care managers, and data analytics that recognize high-risk sufferers, among others -- relatively few physicians claimed that these resources improved care "a lot," however a moderately greater percentage claimed that they improved care "somewhat." These tools decreased costs significantly, in accordance to very few physicians.
Care management support was basically analyzed as having a higher affect on quality and cost across the three models in comparison to either performance feedback or data on clinical guidelines.
While those findings held real across all 3 of the main ACO models, those in Advanced Payment Model accountable care organizations (ACOs) had more favorable opinions of the model overall. The makeup of physicians in those models might have been an impact in this finding; physicians in Advanced Model ACOs tended to be primary care physicians as opposed to specialists, and they were more likely to work in small practices and rural places, primarily in the South, according to the authors.
The authors said that another possible contributor to the discrepancy is the nature of Alternative Payment ACOs themselves, which have less experience with health transformation attempts than the other 2 models. The latter likely benefited from initial experience with structural support elements like care management or health information technology systems.
When it came to more overarching targets, just a modest number of physicians claimed that ACOs have made victorious progress toward acquiring those targets. Instead of this, one-half to two thirds said participation in an ACO affected how they care for all of their sufferers, whether aligned with the accountable care organization or not.
The results recommend that physicians and ACOs are not always on the similar page. Several people feel comfortable in their own capability to make the leap from volume to value.