Alere's Dr. Gordon Norman Highlights What Employers and Health Plans Should Know About Emerging ACO Models at Care Continuum All

Notes that current "unaccountable care" is unsustainable

ATLANTA, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the spotlight on accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the U.S. grows, Alere's Chief Innovation Officer, Gordon Norman, MD, will highlight what employers and health plans should know about these healthcare models, which are designed to bring efficiency, cost savings and better care to large patient populations.  

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His presentation entitled, "ACOs and Population Health Management: Friends, Foes or Ships Passing in the Night," will be given at the Care Continuum Alliance Forum 11 Conference in San Francisco, during a Breakfast Symposium on Thursday, September 8th. Joining Dr. Norman, and providing the health plan and employer perspectives, are Meredith Mathews, MD, MPH, of Blue Shield of California, and Nirmal Patel, MD, MPH, of Cisco Systems, Inc.

ACOs have become one of the most talked about topics in healthcare today.  Because they are designed to reimburse provider groups for establishing efficiencies and supplying high-quality care, health plans, hospitals and medical groups are all interested in developing more vertically-integrated health systems, where physicians, hospitals and other providers come together under one entity to deliver more cost-effective care to millions of soon-to-be-insured individuals. Under this model, the organizations that provide good outcomes and lower costs will be able to keep the savings they generate.

"Some believe that ACOs are controversial and that it's simply this generation's version of an HMO," noted Norman.  "I maintain that accountable care is inevitable, since our current 'unaccountable care' is unsustainable.  Our system today results in uncoordinated care, little exchange of meaningful patient information, waste and duplication.  ACOs will, by their design, address many of the current problems we face in healthcare."

Norman will make the case that, for employers and health plans, the promise of ACOs can best be realized through a personalized approach to health management - one that delivers coordinated care through integrated health and wellness programs, as well as disease and case management programs for the chronically ill.

"When we combine what we know works for personalized health management with the goals of ACOs, we can create a better and more accountable healthcare system," says Norman.  "Health plans, employers and, most importantly, patients will benefit from a system that delivers more patient-centric care through advanced analytics, care coordination and better collaboration among all participants."

About Alere:

Alere Health is the health management services business of Alere Inc. Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support," offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere provides health interventions that cover an individual's entire lifespan, from pre-cradle to end-of-life care, and the company's services range from wellness and prevention to the total health management of individuals with chronic illnesses. Alere's continuum of services begins with preconception, pregnancy, NICU and first year of life; it continues with lifelong programs focused on health, wellness, the management of such conditions as heart failure, COPD, and asthma, and the complex management required for end-of-life care. For more information regarding Alere, please visit

SOURCE Alere Health