There’s a lot of discussion these days about Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), but employers still need help understanding what they are, how they work, and who is developing them. Today, more providers are engaging and communicating with employers directly as part of their business strategy.
As employer engagement efforts expand, and certain programs and services grow, the focus must remain not on conceptual thoughts for business as usual, but on the real, tangible benefits to employers such as healthier employees, better management of chronic conditions or high risk/cost patients, fewer lost days of work, risk assuming reimbursement, and lower healthcare costs. The ACO is the newest of these provider business strategies and is confirmed by the two surveys included in this white paper.
This white paper discusses multiple ways that employers may want to think about engaging in ACOs for the benefit of employees and their organizations. Among the topics discussed are:
- Potential ACO models
- Potential Employer Risks
- ACO Surveys – Perceptions and Expectations of Employers, including:
- Survey highlights
- Questions asked and responses received
- What the Future holds for Employers and ACOs
ACOs have the potential to improve quality and reduce costs for the employee/dependent and employer alike by providing more patient-centered, coordinated, and integrated care. The PPACA only provides a broad outline of the ACO initiative. But with the appropriate vision, design, and strategic provider partnerships, employers could benefit tremendously from an accountable care delivery system.