ACO’s and positioning your medical practice


In a survey last year by the AMGA (American Medical Group Association) over half of those (those being comprised primarily of multi-specialty medical groups) surveyed said they were actively planning on an ACO business venture of some kind.  And half of them said they were down the road of creating and/or participating in a health plan.  The other half was actively engaged with primary care practices to expand the role of primary care to include home care and after discharge care. 31% said they were seeking to engage other multi-specialty groups or practices in partnership. 36% said they were partnering with hospitals in some capacity; most frequently as an employed provider of hospital.

18% recognized they needed to do something but didn’t know what.  5% said they were going to stay the way they are.

Am frankly surprised that none were even thinking about a MSO (Managed Care Organization) as an option they might participate in.

Determining how your practice will fit into future revenue models and how to bring on-going success to your practice is THE question.  To answer that question 3 areas need to be explored;

  1. Practice relationships – who you will align with is largely motivated by the relationships your practice has cultivated over time.  Cultivating and nurturing relationships with other practices, hospitals, business leaders and others will not only give you options for success, but also enrich your practice on multiple levels.
  2. Practice Pockets – Sound business practices applied to healthcare practices always mean you not only have equity in the practice, but also good lines of credit, savings and sound investments to give you some time to really look at choices.  If your practice runs from “paycheck to paycheck”, you may align yourself with the first offer that comes along and that may not be the best offer nor the pathway you were really trying to forge.
  3. Practice Personnel – strong, well trained employees (both clinical and non-clinical)that have become real assets to your practice, will also become assets to others as they evaluate your practice and determine roles for employees in new organizational flow charts.  Employees that are tech savvy, adaptable to change, willing learners of new flows and technologies are only advantages to your practice.  Long term employees that you have just kept on because of longevity are not really bringing value to your practice.

What your practice does next is probably the most important decision your practice will make this year.  Make sure your goals, your assets, your relationships and your employees all align to give your practice a full range of successful choices and you can find the solution that “fits”.

Have questions? I’m here to help.