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Q&A: Methodist Health CEO on an ACO Alternative

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 1, 2011

Widespread concerns over accountable care organizations have health leaders pondering how to proceed. While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last month unveiled a number of enticements, some providers aren't biting. They're exploring alternatives.

Methodist Health System and Texas Health Resources announced recently an agreement to study the possible creation of a multi-provider accountable care organization. For now they plan to skip the formation of an accountable care organization as presented in the Affordable Care Act. Instead the two will explore other models of collaboration.

Recently Stephen L. Mansfield, PhD, president and CEO of Methodist Health System, sat down with HealthLeaders Media for a telephone interview. He talked about the new partnership, future prospects for ACOs and what he thinks it will take to make the ACOs successful.


Webcast: Alternative ACO Strategies: June 7, 2011, 1:00–2:30 pm (ET) Register today.


Q: What is happening with the Methodist Health System and Texas Health Resources partnership?

A: It's been in place less than a month. We have several groups that are meeting to look at what our working strategy might be. We plan to explore a variety of opportunities that will be good for our community from a cost and quality prospective. Together we may look at bundled payment strategies or readmissions, or we may partner on a facility. We just don't know yet what all we will do together.

Q: CMS just announced new initiatives for ACOs; will they help attract more participants in ACOs?

A: I think the three things CMS has done are positive. I don't know that I think they are enough to get the energy level and enthusiasm level back to what it was a year ago in the industry.

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