Richard Waguespack, MD, president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and clinical professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Alabama, offered tips for dealing with the emergence of accountable care organizations (ACOs).
In ACOs, primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other providers are integrated into a care and financial entity to boost quality, outcomes, and value in delivering healthcare. They’re meant to be an answer to a system that is now often fragmented, uncoordinated, full of duplication, and expensive.
Dr. Waguespack said that, for independent providers, it’s important to stay aware of what’s happening in your community. Sometimes, if the entity in which you work is creating an ACO, you will have little choice but to participate. But even if that’s not the case, your hand might be forced, he said.