Study finds that further aligning providers with the community key to improving ACOs

October 26, 2016

As ACOs continue to progress, they are seeking to expand population health management capabilities, including their relationships with community organizations and patients, according to research from Premier. The report, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found

  • While nearly every ACO studied is working with community social service organizations, 84% cited increased support from their community partners as an opportunity for improvement that is very different from the work that hospital-based organizations have traditionally considered;
  • Nearly all ACOs reported using two approaches to improve population health: improving care for all high-risk patients in their attributable population; and improving care to patients with a specific disease state to target in their attributable population; and
  • Only 32% of respondents reported that their communities had adequate resources to meet the challenge of improving community health. Limitations include, inadequate funding for staffing and services, data interoperability challenges, physicians operating under the fee-for-service model, and payer pressures.

Researchers also identified three ways ACOs are engaging to meet the ongoing and future challenges of population health and value-based payment models:

  1. Improving information and best practice sharing with other ACOs.
  2. Developing a framework for implementing population health improvement activities based on level of maturity and access to required community resources.
  3. Enhancing dialogue between providers, regulators and funders to set priorities for services development and future research foci.