ACOs transform to a nurse-centric model

It's a natural fit for nurses. The national experiment to change the way America delivers care into coordinated model will be led by nurses, reported.

Accountable care organization (ACO) initiatives offer new roles for nurses in outpatient settings to manage population health and coordinate care with other providers, according to Anthony Slonim, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Barnabas Health ACO-North in West Orange, N.J.

Although it's still a "relatively new career path for nurses" to coordinate care in the physician practice, according to Walter Le-Strange, the chief operating officer at ProHealth Accountable Care Medical Group in Lake Success, N.Y., it's an ideal role for nurses.

In fact, ACOs and patient-centered medical homes shouldn't even think about not hiring a case manager, usually a registered nurse acting as a care coordinator, according to Madelyn Young, contributor to PhysBizTech. With experience in patient education, condition management, appointment coordination and provider communication, the case manager can navigate the patient through care.

Higher demand under accountable care initiatives suggests that nurses have their pick of jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nursing overall will grow faster than all other occupations from 2010 to 2020, adding 712,000 jobs, NJ Spotlight reported.

According to the American Medical Group Association and Cejka Search 2011 Physician Retention Survey, 67 percent of medical groups said that involvement of advanced practitioners in their offices has grown "somewhat" or "significantly" in the past five years, with 75 percent expected to hire more nurse practitioners and physician assistants within the next five years.

For more information:
- read the article
- here's the PhysBizTech article
- see the NJ Spotlight article

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