While accountable care organization (ACO) Pioneers are set to launch before the year's end, a recent report indicates that many hospital executives remain unaware of the federal regulations needed to become an ACO.
According to a survey of more than 200 provider organizations, it is most often the hospital CEO who is responsible for ACO development, yet only 15 percent of hospital executives said they were "very familiar" with ACOs as currently proposed; 25 percent were "not familiar" with them, at all.
The survey, conducted by consulting firm Beacon Partners, also found that almost half of hospital execs (48 percent) don't know how an ACO will impact their organization, or whether it will improve patient care.
Despite the unfamiliarity, 92 percent of respondents already are in the planning/development phases of an ACO, with 30 percent in the operational phase.
Half of the responding organizations (53 percent) have yet to create a department or executive position dedicated to ACO development, and only 10 percent plan to hire additional staff to implement ACOs, leading the survey authors to question whether the healthcare sector will be fully prepared for reform.
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