According to the 2011 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Readiness Study, conducted by the Weymouth, Mass.-based Beacon Partners, only 15 percent of respondents are “very familiar” with ACOs, and 61 percent reported that they were only “somewhat familiar” with ACOs.
However, Beacon Partners’ ACO Readiness Study also found that although the majority of respondents don’t have a high level of familiarity surrounding ACOs, 92 percent of respondents are either in development, operational or in the pre-planning process for their own ACOs. This is a notable increase when compared to how respondents answered when asked the same question in Beacon Partners’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Scalable Study conducted in the second quarter of this year. In that study, only 47 percent of respondents said they are in the planning and development stages.
Other significant findings include:
• 45 percent of those surveyed have not committed money from their operating budgets to ACO planning efforts and 27 percent are unsure what their budget is for ACO planning
• 49 percent of respondents named their CEO as the person responsible for ACO development
• However, 53 percent of respondents have not yet created a department or executive role to develop an ACO
• 44 percent of respondents have no plans to hire personnel to handle ACO development, and another 25 percent plan to reallocate existing personnel
• 48 percent of respondents are unsure as to how an ACO will affect their organization
• 31 percent of respondents listed undefined rules and confusion of ACO structure as their top concern in the market, followed by high start-up costs (17 percent) and regulatory issues (14 percent)