ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health Care
October 6, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Seven Keys to Expanding ACO Savings—and Market Share

At the beginning of this series, we laid out a basic tenet: As shared savings plan ACOs, you need to do as well or better at lowering costs than competing value-based payment models. Otherwise, your resources and support will dwindle in favor of more promising avenues to control Medicare spending, and competition will stifle your growth. We’ve examined the competition and what they offer physicians to succeed in Risk and to attract patients. The bar is high. Medicare Advantage Plans, equity-backed practices, and Management-model ACOs like Aledade have changed the playing field for physician participation and growth. ACOs Have Lost…
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ACOsFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
August 19, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Three Ultimate ACO Strategies to Keep Physician Practices Onboard

ACOs have zealously protected their favored status under Medicare Value-Based payment models, ensuring enough time for organizations to feel comfortable with financial risk and make investments in infrastructure. But if your own ACO is losing physicians to new equity-financed networks or to hospitals consolidating practices, more time does not help you. Primary care physicians are being picked off by your competition, and their patients go with them. Private equity firms and venture capital-funded groups have gained significant ground in acquiring physician practices, with mergers and acquisitions hitting record highs in 2019 and 2020, and accelerating in 2021. Equity firms and…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareValue-Based Health Care
June 17, 2021

New ACO Playbook: How ACOs Can Transform Clinical Care for Diabetes

An illuminating article about ACOs, featuring current and former MedPAC chairs’ perspectives, argues that savings have been constrained because too much is beyond ACOs’ purview to manage. Examples include both external restrictions (the exclusion of prescription drugs and provider fee payments from ACO control) and internal cultural or economic barriers (conflicts of interest that make it difficult to reduce hospitalization revenues). ACOs Are Caught Between Roles as Provider and Payer The current ACO model is, indeed, challenging. Blending both provider and payer functions is fraught with conflict. But the provider-directed model was supposed to function closer to the actual delivery…
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ACOsBehavioral HealthDirect ContractingRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 5, 2021

5 Value-Based Behavioral Health Strategies for ACOs and Medical Group Models

For ACOs and Direct Contracting Medical Groups adopting value-based payment models, behavioral health is often overlooked. But your patients’ unmet behavioral health issues are a big cost driver for emergency care and inpatient admissions, and they compound risk factors in disease. They also influence your patients’ adherence to treatment plans. You may believe this is a problem you can’t resolve because behavioral health is beyond the boundaries of your participating network. Even so, you need to be aware of a significant emerging trend: integrating behavioral health in primary care. The difference between physical medicine’s approach to disease versus behavioral health…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
September 10, 2020

Three Fixes for ACOs’ Physician Engagement Strategies

ACOs know that reducing costs is the key goal for Value-Based reimbursement. But strategies on how—or even whether—to engage physicians in that goal have not always been successful, to the detriment of all involved. Part of the problem is that provider revenues still stem from Fee-for-Service payments. Physicians are still rewarded based on meeting volume of patients and revenues. Even if participating in an ACO, your physicians get very clear messages about meeting volume and revenue targets. Hospital and health system-based practices survive by ensuring that volume is maintained—especially in these times. As health plan capitation and new Value-based risk…
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Episodes of CareFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
July 20, 2020

Episodes Are More Than Payment Models: They’re Key to Improving Care

For many health systems and groups, episodes are esoteric. Providers often think of them only in context of risk-based payment models like bundled payments and capitation. Navigating Value-Based Health Care contracts, providers analyze and model performance under Fee-for-Service and episode-based payments to decide their course of action. Or, if already in Value-Based reimbursement, they use them as targets for costs to pinpoint physicians who exceed the targets. These strategies are shortsighted and limited. Even at best, they do nothing to address what is actually driving cost of care. By using payer-constructed episode specifications, such strategies potentially obscure valuable clinical and…
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Future of Health CarePopulation HealthRacial Inequities in Health CareValue-Based Health Care
July 1, 2020

How to Start Redressing Racial Bias and Reducing Health Care Inequities

In recent weeks there have been many cries for the health care system to finally address racial inequities. Now is the moment to harness that energy toward a process of substantive change. Value-Based Health Care is not achievable without addressing racial inequities that drive costs and poor outcomes: patient disengagement, higher risk factors, greater admissions, and emergency room usage. Fully acknowledging the issues is the first step. Creating better methods to evaluate how race affects decisions and to innovate change is the next. Racial inequities in health care in the U.S. are well documented, including: Higher maternal mortality, with Black…
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Consumers & PatientsCOVID-19Future of Health CarePopulation Health
June 11, 2020

Is Telehealth Bridging or Widening the Health Care Gap? We Need to Find Out.

ROJI Health Intelligence CEO Theresa Hush frames the questions we need to ask about the future of telehealth in this 3:37 minute video. Telehealth has become the go-to solution for health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling providers and consumers to remain in contact for routine and non-emergency visits while brick-and-mortar spaces have been closed. Now that health care is reopening, however, telehealth remains a preferred communications medium, and many providers plan to expand it much more going forward. So, it’s time to ask: Are the services we are offering through telehealth really delivering the best health care possible? And,…
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COVID-19Future of Health CareRacial Inequities in Health Care
June 3, 2020

A Pandemic Recovery for Health Care Means Addressing Racial Inequities

Health systems, eager to bring patients back, are using new methods to reach out—mass emails to reassure patients of clean and safe facilities, targeted phone calls to reschedule cancelled appointments and procedures, broadcast television announcements and social media ads that strive to convince patients not to defer care any longer. Providers hope they can recover by encouraging their patients to return. But the pandemic has changed the landscape in health care, in ways that health systems didn't expect. Significantly, it has laid bare the fact that Black Americans are dying in far larger numbers from COVID-19, driven by more severe…
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COVID-19Future of Health CarePopulation HealthSpecialty Services
May 14, 2020

Size is Now a Problem That Large Hospitals and Health Systems Must Solve

For two decades, consolidation in health care has been a strong industry trend. Championed by hospitals and hospital-organized systems, care is now less independent and more centralized, especially in urban settings. Widespread acquisitions of physician practices and towers of specialty services, diagnostics, and treatment seem to have forever changed the health care landscape. But in the era of COVID-19, that configuration of big health care is proving to be a problem. Large systems started turning off the spigot of specialty and non-essential services almost immediately once the community spread of COVID-19 became apparent. As these organizations now try to entice…
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