Norton and Humana have been working on the relationship for years, but both say that hospitals and health systems need not feel like they are years behind the ACO curve and can begin discussions anytime.
“In moving any market, you start working with the early movers and then the others come along,” says Tom James, MD, Humana corporate medical director. Hester adds that the first Norton/Humana ACO discussions and development were longer because “we spent a lot of time creating the ACO model” that others can now replicate. It helps that Norton and Humana had prior experience managing risk in an HMO, but any market with similar risk-sharing experience would have a head start on an ACO, they add.
The next level of communication will be to the consumers, Hester says.
“We have to help people get to a place where they feel they are getting value,” he says. “They don’t understand what these outcomes really mean.”
Hester, James, and Ken Wilson, MD, Norton’s vice president for clinical effectiveness and quality, will share their experience to date and future plans for ACO execution at HealthLeaders Media Rounds “The Real Value of ACOs,” simulcast from noon–3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Register today.