Two Cost Reduction Strategies Built Into Healthcare Reform

Monday, October 25th, 2010
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

Midway through our sixth annual healthcare trends e-survey, the outlook is cautiously optimistic, with two-thirds of respondents reporting that 2010 was better business-wise than 2009. Anticipating the first phases of reform, cost containment is their top concern related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

To alleviate these woes, healthcare should look at cost reduction opportunities in accountable care organizations (ACOs), recommended The Camden Group’s Steven Valentine during last week’s annual Healthcare Trends and Forecasts webinar. Alluding to the NCQA’s draft of seven core capabilities for ACOs, a featured story in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update, and the imminent CMS Medicare ACO project, Valentine had this advice:

We’re not telling you right away to implement an ACO, but we’re telling you prepare and put in place the organization, the care models, the delivery network and the infrastructure you’re going to need, so that in a couple of years as you begin to exploit this, you’ll be in a good competitive position.

ACOs also figure into integrated health management, one of seven macro trends driving the healthcare industry, as seen by Cognizant Business Consulting’s William Shea. He shared these thoughts:

ACOs are among the capabilities and solutions that begin to make healthcare organizations look more like integrated delivery models. Experiment with new delivery models, taking advantage of the incentives coming from the regulatory area in reform to experiment with these models, like the patient-centered medical home and accountable care organizations.

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