ACO success requires organizations to position, empower and support their physicians to drive the fundamental clinical and operational changes necessary for sustainable performance gains. Building physician leadership capability at all levels within an organization and engaging physicians in all aspects of performance improvement, as early and as broadly as possible, is essential.
As such, here are a few physician-specific action steps to consider to help make your ACO successful:
• Identify potential physician leaders early and create physician alignment necessary to fully support enterprise strategic requirements and capabilities.
• Position physician leaders successfully as owner operators of a clinical enterprise at every level, from entity to care team, with management capabilities that drive performance. Develop ongoing training programs at all levels.
• Leverage physician leaders to clearly articulate an organization’s goals and educate physician colleagues on quality and utilization impact.
• Engage physicians to lead clinical change management required for highly reliable, consensus-driven excellence in clinical outcomes, and encourage physicians to develop specific quality improvement clinical interventions.
• Build physician business acumen through training/role development and position physicians to manage and optimize revenue (e.g., clinical documentation improvement, revenue cycle, gain-sharing, global budgets); address and enhance access/capacity/panel; and manage referrals and primary specialty care relationships.
• Ensure physician leaders are diffused throughout an entire ACO structure—not just in the quality and compensation area—to ensure high-level performance and alignment with physician-directed goals.