CEO: ACO success happens when you 'stick to the principles'

The secret to success with accountable care organizations (ACOs) lies in growth, trust and solid core principles, Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich says in an interview with Managed Healthcare Executive.

Markovich says any successful ACO must adhere to the principles of strong philosophical alignment with top management, shared long-term objectives, aligned incentives, transparency and resource commitment. "Stick to the principles. No matter what," he adds.

Additionally, there must be a strong belief in these principles from top management and among the ACO's partners, he says. Trust between providers and payers is also an important factor--and must start with all stakeholders truly wanting to deliver the best quality healthcare for the lowest price, according to Markovich. 

Once trust is established, he says, shared data analytics and payer-provided resources can add to an ACO's success.

Blue Shield of California, for example, has contributed significant resources, program management, data analytics, clinical resources, pharmacy program management and more to its ACO ventures, Markovich says.

Other insurers employ similar strategies in the quest to make ACO agreements successful. Aetna, for example, says it strives to meet providers where they are in terms of their willingness to take on risk, while Cigna says it uses data to help providers be successful with the patients who are aligned to them.

To learn more:
- read the interview