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5 Commercial ACO Tricks of the Trade

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2013

Commercial accountable care organizations make strange bedfellows out of payers and providers. Accustomed to hardball contracting negotiations, payers and providers find the transition from adversary to partner an uneasy one. These tips can help.

Although the government version of the accountable care organization has certainly had some recent growing pains, commercial payers such as Aetna, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare have been busy adapting the government model into a more flexible effort that appeals to a wide range of providers.

Commercial ACOs make strange bedfellows out of payers and providers. Accustomed to hardball contracting negotiations, payers and providers now find themselves joining forces to form and sustain ACOs.

Although there are hundreds of commercial ACOs forming cross the country, the transition from adversary to partner is not often an easy one.

Last month Premier Inc., the Charlotte-based healthcare alliance, hosted a press conference and presentation by two of its ACO collaborative participants—one just getting off the ground and one more experienced. Rob Slattery, president and CEO of Integrated Solutions Health Network in Johnson City, TN and Andy McCoy, vice president of revenue management for Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services each offered some tricks of the ACO trade in terms of payer-provider partnerships.

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