April 13, 2017

ACO roundup: Study spotlights high physician turnover in Pioneer model

Daily Briefing
  • Many physicians don't know how their ACO works. Nearly half of physicians participating in Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs in 2015 didn't know if they could receive shared savings or faced downside risk, according to a survey published this month in Health Affairs. Moreover, 42.7 percent of MSSP, 21.4 percent of Advance Payment, and 34 percent of Pioneer physicians did not know which of their patients were attributable to an ACO. Between 50 and 60 percent of doctors said ACOs were effective for the provision of cost-effective care.


  • Study spotlights high physician turnover in Pioneer model. There was significant year-to-year physician turnover and uneven distribution of patients across providers in one Pioneer ACO, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs, raising questions "about the structure of ACOs ... and their ability to achieve the goals of lowering costs while improving quality," Elizabeth Whitman writes for Modern Healthcare. Overall, the researchers found that only 392 of the 748 primary care physicians who participated in the ACO did so for the entirety of the three-year contract. Moreover, the researchers found that ACO patients on average made up less than 5 percent of a doctor's patient pool, meaning the financial risk imposed by the ACO contract was unlikely to have a substantial effect on physicians—effectively "dilut[ing]" ACO incentives. 


  • CMS investment in social services pilot. The CMS Innovation Center said last week it will give up to $120 million to 32 organizations selected to participate in its Accountable Health Communities model, which will test approaches for linking Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with community services to address their health-related social needs. Over the course of five years, participating organizations will focus on improving community-clinical collaboration by screening beneficiaries for unmet social need, referring beneficiaries to the right services, and helping patients access and navigate such services. Organizations that will receive the funding include Yale-New Haven Hospital and Oregon Health & Science University

From Advisory Board:

  • Taking on overdiagnosis waste and harm. Join us on April 18 at 1 P.M. ET for a discussion with MemorialCare's James Leo and Helen Macfie on when to challenge the default inclination of treating many to benefit few.

Register for the webconference

  • Combating physician burnout. The unrelenting pace of change in today’s health care landscape is leading to record levels of physician burnout. Join us on April 18 at 3 P.M. ET to learn how to identify the key drivers of burnout at your organization and mitigate further detriment to your physicians, your patients, and your business.

Register for the webconference

Register for the webconference

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