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July/August Issue Podcast: How Have ACOs Done Thus Far?

July 8, 2014
by Gabriel Perna and Mark Hagland
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In part one of a two-part podcast, Senior Editor, Gabriel Perna is joined by the Editor in Chief of Healthcare Informatics, Mark Hagland to discuss the accountable care movement. For his cover story in the July/August issue of the magazine, Hagland interviewed leaders of multiple Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) who relayed the challenges and opportunities that have come with the new care model.

Hagland starts off the podcast explaining how in many ways, the glass is both half-empty and half-full when it comes to the ACO movement. On one hand, he says that ACOs are facing many basic blocking and tackling issues such as patient attribution when it comes to ramping up. However, there are some early relative successes.

Later, Hagland explains why many ACOs are not ready to invest in the data analytics technology infrastructure that is required to run the organization. “The analytics tools offered by any vendor off the shelf need to be adapted somewhat,” Hagland says. “No one has the silver bullet.” This kind of adaption take a lot of time, he adds, and is not easy to do.

To conclude the podcast, Hagland answers the question of whether or not the ACO movement can survive if the Medicare ACOs do not thrive. “If the Medicare Shared Savings and Pioneer ACO programs falter, it will be difficult because a lot of what is being learned is being learned in those programs,” Hagland says. “I think though ACOs will thrive. They have to. It’s an inevitable path we’re going down.”

Read the ACO cover story from the July/August issue here

Stay tuned for part 2 of this podcast.

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