ACOsCMS RulesCorporate Health CareEpisodes of CareFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
December 13, 2022

5 Key Health Care Trends to Watch for in 2023

After an intense few years in health care, will 2023 deliver more punches? While 2022 was dubbed a COVID “recovery” year, as patient volume rebounded, health care staffing shortages festered. Burnout prompted physicians to retire, sell practices to corporate owners, or leave traditional health care for other employment. Simply put, 2022 was short on recovery and stability. Even still, 2022 fostered important new trends and discoveries. Despite inflation and recession fears, corporate health care continued its growth undaunted, with new startups and equity-backed practice expansion. Value-Based Care spurred corporate territorial reach into legacy health care preserves. Optum, ACO enablers like…
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ACOsSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health Care
August 25, 2021

New ACO Playbook: 3 Strategies to Tackle Hidden Costs of Specialty Care

Your ACO’s most significant costs may seem obvious. CMS and most ACOs have put an enormous emphasis on reducing utilization of hospital facilities and nursing home care to control costs. But your real key to cost reduction is knowing what drives avoidable admissions and stays in the first place. And with 50-60 percent of costs attributed to specialty physicians, that is where you need to start. Specialists are—and should be—involved in your most complex patients’ care. Those specialists will benefit from a collaborative involvement in cost data. And both your ACO and your patients will benefit from better and more…
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ACOsConsumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
August 24, 2021

Cost Savings Aren’t the Only Objective for ACOs: Growth Matters, Too

Keeping within expenditure limits is a top priority for most ACOs for Medicare. That makes sense. Savings are the main distinguishing feature of an ACO arrangement, as opposed to straight Fee-for-Service reimbursement. ACOs that accept downside risk can’t afford to exceed the expenditure target. It’s in their best interest to create initiatives to cut costs and control expenses—especially for services outside the ACO, such as post-acute care. But a cost strategy only focused on trimming expenses will likely fail the ACO in the long run. Why? Medicare ACOs face an annually decreasing expenditure limit that mandates them to lower costs…
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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 CareFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 29, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Can Coordination of Care Save Enough Money to Save ACOs?

Central to the controversy about ACOs’ potential for Value-Based Care is whether they actually save enough money and reduce costs fast enough. Researchers and advocates have produced various independent studies of ACO savings, the most generous estimating $1.8 billion in cumulative savings over the first three years of the program, almost double CMS estimates. Many others, however, dismiss the small proportion of savings—at a few percentage points—relative to total Medicare spending. The previous CMS administration was clearly dubious about the shared savings model. It favored payment models that put providers at financial risk to increase cost reduction incentives, even though…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty Physicians
November 20, 2020

Five Strategies to Help ACOs and Independent Specialists Create Common Ground on Data Sharing

To successfully manage the 40 to 60 percent of costs of care driven by specialty physicians, your ACO must overcome one major obstacle when you begin to address specialty costs: the lack of information to guide your actions. Although ACOs have claims data to calculate total costs per ACO patient and totals for specialty services, you can't compare those costs. Why? Claims are not organized into cases or "episodes of care" that include all providers and services so that it is easier to compare case costs between patients or providers. More importantly, the small number of Medicare patients seeing any…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health CareVideo
October 28, 2020

Video: How to Engage Specialists Through Centers of Excellence

Specialists will engage in cost performance improvement if they believe they can provide better care for their patients and improve their own clinical excellence. Here's how to achieve that through Episodes of Care, and how ACOs and health systems can help. You'll find more details in last week's post, Five Ways to Manage Specialty Costs Without Bundled Payments. Founded in 2002, Roji Health Intelligence guides health care systems, providers and patients on the path to better health through Solutions that help providers improve their value and succeed in Risk.
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ACOsBundled PaymentsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health Care
October 22, 2020

Five Ways to Manage Specialty Costs Without Bundled Payments

When health plans and Medicare propose controlling the cost of specialty care, expect that bundled payments will be the next suggested solution. With the introduction of every new specialty-focused payment model, an episode-based bundled payment model is involved. But let's say you’re an ACO with no interest in bundled payments arrangements. You may not even think you can put the topic on the table with specialists. Or, if you are a health system or specialty practice that is trying to control total cost of care for competitive reasons, perhaps you aren't yet willing to accept fixed fees. How can you…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty ServicesVideo
October 14, 2020

Video: How to Improve Specialty Spending for ACOs

Referral networks drive a huge part of ACO spending. Cut through the data to find how you can reduce costs through actionable information. Learn more about how your ACO should evaluate specialty referrals and costs using seven key analytics for procedural episodes of care. Founded in 2002, Roji Health Intelligence guides health care systems, providers and patients on the path to better health through Solutions that help providers improve their value and succeed in Risk.
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty Services
October 9, 2020

Seven Key Analytics to Direct Your ACO’s Specialty Strategies for Risk

As ACOs become subject to Risk arrangements, especially global capitation, specialty costs should be one of the first areas to examine for long-term savings potential. Optimal use of specialists and engagement with specialty providers will prove essential for cost management. This is new territory for providers who have decentralized most decisions about specialty referrals and subsequent specialty medical decisions. Leverage for collaboration and examination depends on the ACO’s strength position vis a vis specialty business and competition among specialists for ACO referrals. A primary ACO strategy for cost performance, therefore, must start with its market strategy. Your ACO Competition, Medicare…
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