Odd Little Facts about ACOs


  • The Medicare patients will be invisible to the providers for one year so as to discourage lowering costs improperly. How will this affect the providers’ ability to design cost-lowering programs?
  • ACOs are not closed networks;
  • When ACO beneficiaries go outside the ACO, and healthcare cost savings or excess is passed onto the ACO, even though the ACO had no control over such things. Imagine how seasonal residence plays into this;
  • Demonstration projects show a lot of patient “churn,” further challenging the ability of an ACO to control costs;
  • It looks like the two sided model will put 25% of reimbursement at risk;
  • Even Mayo, Geisinger and Cleveland are saying they won’t participate in ACOs.


Ignoring Primary Care: Obscuring the Obvious

Healthcare reform used to imply just regulatory change.  As time marches on, it also implies market change.  Most pundits agree that, whatever happens to the healthcare reform law, whether or not it is found to be unconstitutional, the healthcare business community is unleashed.  Change is afoot! 

If you follow my nahsaying on the issue, then you know I believe the expectations regarding ACOs are overblown and unrealistic.  Martians will not land here en masse, although there may be an occasional stow away on a NASA craft.  Put another way, as some others have said, ACOs are like unicorns—magical, mythical beasts that no one has ever seen.  I don’t expect many to come prancing around in Florida, at least not South Florida, anytime soon. 

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