Survey: 13% of Hospitals Plan to form ACOs

Only 13 percent of hospitals reported participating in an accountable care organization (ACO) or were planning to participate in an ACO within a year, while 75 percent of hospitals were not considering ACO participation, according to newly published results from a 2011 survey by researchers at The Commonwealth Fund and the Health Research and Educational Trust. The most common ACO governance models were joint ventures between physicians and hospitals, 51 percent, and physician-led governance, 20 percent, according to the survey of more than 1,600 hospitals. Another 18 percent of ACOs have a hospital-led governing body. Only 2 percent are led by payers. The survey found that hospitals participating in ACOs or preparing to participate were more likely to be larger not-for-profit and teaching organizations, located in large urban areas, and belong to a health system, compared with hospitals that were not planning to be part of an ACO. Results also suggest that many hospitals that are currently pursuing an ACO strategy do not yet have the capabilities needed for population health management. Only one of five hospitals participating in or preparing to join an ACO reported using predictive tools to identify patients at high risk of poor health outcomes or high resource use.

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