Methodist Health had just announced its intention to partner with Texas Health Resources on an ACO-like system. The two are by-passing the CMS ACO program.
Mansfield said then that he thought ACOs would be a work in progress for years to come as hospitals, physicians and health plans develop the system that works best for them. "I think the ACO concept is a very valid construct that holds the most promise for us to be able to improve the value of healthcare in America of anything I've seen in my career but it's just a concept. We've got to tweak it until we get the methodology right."
I remember thinking then that Don Berwick should be having sleepless nights over the CMS model for ACOs because all of these stakeholders were going out and forming their own models to achieve the triple aim.
Hey wait a minute. The triple is alive and well! The stakeholders are just pursing it on their own terms. All of the talk about ACOs has really focused healthcare right where Berwick has always wanted it to be: patient centered care coordination.
Does it really matter if it's achieved through a Medicare model or a commercial model?