Strong Skepticism for ACOs Remains

Even as ACOs grow in number, 40% of physicians say they wouldn't participate in one. Furthermore, physicians revealed that their understanding of certain value-based terminology is limited.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are growing in number, however a new report reveals that physicians are still skeptical of ACOs and their impact.

LocumTenens.com’s Physicians Weigh in on Value-Based Care surveyed 1,200 physicians and the recurring theme among responses was a fear that physicians will need to relinquish control, Charles R. Evans, a hospital executive and president of International Health Services Group, wrote in the report.

"Physicians are willing to accept some risk for participating in ACOs but first want to know if it will impact their relationships with patients and how their progress will be measured," R. Shane Jackson, president of LocumTenens.com and executive vice president of Jackson Healthcare, said in a statement. "This survey shows that health care facilities seeking to recruit physicians into ACO arrangements need to invest time in educating physicians on how ACOs will impact their care, not just how they will help the organization's bottom line."

According to the report, with the exception of pay-for-performance, physicians are surprisingly unfamiliar with the details of value-based care arrangements. The survey asked physicians to rate their comfort level with a value-based term on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high). Pay-for-performance only received a 3.4, followed by bundled payments with a 3, “value-based” or “accountable care” received a 2.7 and “shared savings arrangement” came in last with just a 2.2.

Overall, just 60% of physicians said they would be willing to participate in an ACO with anesthesiologists the most likely group and emergency medicine physicians as the least likely to participate.

Two-thirds of write-in comments were negative, while 32% were neutral and just 2% were positive. The largest concern (33%) presented regarded the design or execution of accountable care schemes, followed distantly by 18.5% of comments about payment/cost containment issues and 14.6% concerned about patient/quality of care issues.

Read more:

Physician-led ACOs Inspire More Confidence

ACOs Bring Legal Trouble

Accountable to Whom? Physicians Weigh in on Value-Based Care — Locumtenens.com