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Why Half of All Healthcare CEOs Don't Want to Be in an ACO

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, January 10, 2014

"Even those not becoming one are still working on medical home-like models, which still requires a change in thinking and significant culture change for a hospital to implement," says Hountz. "If you're a physician practice or health plan, it's a lot more natural projection to do these because you're focused on outpatient and preventive care anyway. With a hospital, it's somewhat counterintuitive."

Cost Cutting is Top Priority
Further, 89% of survey respondents agree that cost pressures are significant generally, and that reducing waste and inefficiency is their number one strategy—not ACO participation. However, only 15% said that improving quality of care was their primary strategy for reducing costs. That's troubling, says Hountz.

"In many industries, improving quality is the way to become world-class in cost and customer value and perception," he says. "It doesn't seem like that's penetrated the healthcare market. [There are] tons of measures, so they don't ignore it, but it's not their primary strategy."

Instead, many, if not most healthcare organizations view cost reduction through a supply chain lens instead of a quality of care one, primarily because reimbursement, unlike in other industries, comes most often from a third-party payer, not from the patient or healthcare consumer.

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