The Value of Collaboration for Accountable Care Organizations

The Value of Collaboration for ACOs

Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, the United States healthcare system has undergone major shifts. Specifically, the ACA has paved the way for healthcare providers and payers to focus more on delivering value over volume in care. Although there are challenges in achieving a truly value-based system, there is one constant that help drive success – collaboration.

The last decade has shown that collaboration, both amongst providers and between providers and patients, will yield the greatest results. Even now, government agencies are working towards proposals that will require collaboration in data sharing and move the country closer to interoperability.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) Spring conference. Over the course of a few days, I learned much about some of the challenges and successes ACOs are experiencing across the country and it was apparent how important collaboration is proving to be.

The event proved to be a safe place for Accountable Care Organizations to come together and candidly express challenges and how they have been successfully addressing them. What I found most inspiring was how willing the different organizations were to share their stories and knowledge with their colleagues across the country. The success and challenges often stemmed from the ability or inability to collaborate across their networks with data sharing, proactive engagement, and ongoing care management.

As the organizations continue to ask the difficult questions, deal with regulatory uncertainty, and address the looming timeline to take on more risk, collaborating with their provider networks and patients will be critical to both long and short-term success. While the U.S. continues to push for innovation in healthcare, it is the collaborative spirit within and across these organizations that will inject more value into the system.

Elizabeth Lagone, MPH, is the Vice President of Government Programs at CipherHealth. Prior to her current role at CipherHealth, Lagone served as the Primary Care Strategy and Improvement Director for DSRIP Initiatives at One City Health, a subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals focused on population health, care management, and implementation of the state’s DSRIP program.