I’d like to make a few more comments about ACOs this week. As I stated last time, health care reform has been thrust upon us with little strategic planning and a huge sense of urgency. Although I am confident that we, as an industry, will work out the kinks, many patients and providers are filled with angst. Some are skeptical we will see any savings at all. Some see less consumer choice and higher costs. There are many negatives we could choose to focus on that will only add to the angst. The truth is that most of the early ACO members saw little or no savings the first year. What our medical staff was informed of by the NRACO at our launch meeting was that what we are really embarking on, during this 3 to 5 year journey, is an education. We will all be learning together how to make our population healthier (proactively) while the reimbursement structure changes before our very eyes. None of us know exactly how this is going to happen. Although misery loves company, and to bitch and whine and resist, won’t do us a bit of good. In order to decrease our anxiety about this, we need to take a deep breath, formulate long and short term goals (which we continually do), and then only focus daily on what is right in front of us (the things we CAN control) that will move us toward the next goal. All the while we will continue to provide compassionate superior care to our population as we have always done that will serve to decrease anxiety amongst patients and providers alike. Be well!
We meet no ordinary people in our lives. ~ C.S. Lewis
-Dr. Michael Hurt, CMO