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Report: Hands-On Coordinators Trumping Health IT in ACO Strategy

November 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to findings from a new report from Leavitt Partners, a Salt Lake City-based provider of health intelligence, and the Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research, when it comes to accountable care organization (ACO) strategies, most providers are focusing on hands-on labor over health IT. Care transition coordinators, care management coordinators, wellness programs, and health coaches are the focal points of most ACOs, according to the report.

The report, which looked at the insights of 324 ACOs and 57 physician leaders, looked at care coordinated efforts from a structure, maturity, partnerships, practice, and payment arrangements standpoint. The researchers found there is an “inseparable relationship” between risk, care coordination and health IT. In addition, they found physicians have taken the lead for many ACOs. However, while they have primary care and medical home experience, they are challenged in building data platforms to manage populations.

"Our findings affirm that the healthcare industry is moving rapidly and thoughtfully towards new payment models that empower providers to assume responsibility for outcomes as well as costs," Andrew Croshaw, a partner and managing director at Leavitt Partners, said in a statement. "The ACO movement, while still in its infancy, is moving from a seldom observed abstract concept to a legitimate new model of care delivery and payment. This report uncovers the details behind the movement and sheds light on the challenges and solutions facing decision-makers as the movement grows."

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