UnitedHealth sees growing interest in ACOs

This article is a candidate for misleading headline of the year. The headline is about a megainsurer's intentto expand its ACO, but the real story is buried:

  1. The foundation of the federal Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Program, the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), will miss its cost-saving is cost savings target by $2 Billion.

  2. And health systems that participate in ACOs are leaving in droves.

  3. The ACO Catch 22:

  • Providers don't want to accept risk aka BE ACCOUNTABLE

  • So the Federal ACO program didn't require providers to accept risk aka BE ACCOUNTABLE

  • If Providers don't accept risk aka BE ACCOUNTABLE, there's no incentive to change what they do to deliver more value.

  • And therefore, cost savings targets missed by $2B.

-Sanders DiPiero



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