Survey Shows Unfamiliarity with ACOs

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A survey of more than 200 provider organizations finds 92 percent of respondents are in the development or pre-planning stages for an accountable care organization, but many don't yet understand what they're getting into.

Only 15 percent are very familiar with ACOs; 61 percent are somewhat familiar, but 48 percent don't know how an ACO will affect their organization.

Consulting firm Beacon Partners conducted the survey during the third quarter of 2011. About 80 percent of respondents are from hospitals with 51 percent from community hospitals, 21 percent from critical access hospitals and the remaining from academic medical centers. Remaining respondents represent ambulatory practices. About 85 percent of respondents had titles of CIO, CMO/CNO, CEO, COO or CFO.

ACO budgets for nearly all respondents were not yet established, unknown, or below Medicare's estimated start-up costs of $1.8 million. Other survey results include:

* Forty-nine percent of respondents say their CEO is the person responsible for ACO development, but 53 percent haven't created an ACO department or executive role;

* Only 10 percent have plans to hire additional staff for the ACO initiative, with 44 percent having no plans, 25 percent planning to reallocate personnel and about 22 percent unsure; and

* Barriers to ACO development, in order, included undefined rules and confusion of ACO structures, high start-up costs and regulatory issues.

More survey results are available here.


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