Atrius Health’s CEO reveals how physicians contribute to ACO success

doc

The secrets to running a successful accountable care organization (ACO) are hard to come by. That’s because what may prove successful for one healthcare organization may not work for another. One easy way to keep an ACO in business is reducing hospital readmissions--though that’s still a tough nut to crack.

Thoughtful patient handoffs and follow-up with a primary care doctor within a week of a hospital admission go a long way towards reducing readmission rates. What also helps is post-discharge medication reconciliation that’s accurate and clear, writes Steven Strongwater, M.D., president and CEO at Newton, Massachusetts-based Atrius Health, in a recent commentary for NEJM Catalyst.

This matters because between 12 percent to 19 percent of his practice’s Medicare patients admitted to the hospital are readmitted within 30 days. Strongwater emphasizes that it’s not just that hospitals need to align processes with physician practices--but that these workflows must be hardwired into their electronic health records as well.

Digital Transformation

Unlock the Digital Front Door with an App

The Member Mobile App is the smarter and better way to engage members anytime and anywhere. Members can find the right doctors, receive alerts, track spending, use telehealth, and more — all within a guided, intuitive, and seamless experience. Built exclusively for payers, it is ready to install and launch in a few months. Request a consult on how to enable the digital front door with the Mobile App, today.

Shared decision-making between hospitalists and primary care providers also contributes to Atrius Health’s ACO success. It’s because of the strong relationships that his practice’s providers have built with their patients that these primary care doctors can contribute in a meaningful way to discussions about end-of-life care planning and managing patients’ chronic conditions, according to Strongwater. Another benefit for hospitals? Shared decision-making also improves training for residents.

Hospitals also need to be more transparent about what they’re charging patients for certain procedures. That’s because lack of transparency is hitting patients in their wallets--and leads to increased frustration with the healthcare system. Competitive pricing and transparency can hold the keys to success in terms of medical decision-making, managing healthcare costs and referrals among providers, he writes.

Suggested Articles

A CMMI review of value-based payment models gave high marks to models on home health and Maryland's total cost of care demonstration.

Up to 70% of KN95 masks manufactured in China do not meet U.S. standards for effectiveness, an analysis by ECRI found. 

The report also estimates ASC's saved Medicare $4.2 billion in 2018, the latest data available.