NC ACO Collaborative Working Toward the Future of Medicine

Focusing on the future of medicine, including practice models and research, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) participated in the second quarterly meeting of the NC ACO Collaborative held on Thursday, June 6, 2013, at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point. The Collaborative is part of the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative, which is spearheaded by NCMS.

The recent meeting brought together representatives of existing North Carolina accountable care organizations, as well as those from organizations aspiring to become or participate in an ACO. The meeting offered everyone an opportunity to share their experiences and ideas about the transformation of our health care system and the benefits and challenges inherent in developing this emerging practice model.

The host for the day, Cornerstone Health Care, offered attendees a tour of their Care Outreach Clinic before hearing from Bo Bobbitt of the Smith Anderson law firm and author of the TAC Toolkits, a resource for those looking to form an ACO. See the Toolkits here. He spoke about the culture change and commitment among providers that is essential to forming an ACO, as well as aligning incentives, which he called the “secret sauce for a successful ACO.”

In his travels throughout the country speaking about and visiting ACOs, Bobbitt said that the professional satisfaction and empowerment of the physicians at these practices cannot be underestimated. “We’re making history,” he said.

Meeting participants shared the challenges and complexities in determining incentives, quality measures and shared savings that accompany the transformation to an ACO. Most agreed that the doctors ultimately need to control quality and efficiency metrics and there needs to be transparency and data sharing among all payers, hospitals and the ACOs themselves.

Members of the Collaborative at this meeting included nine representatives from key departments within Cornerstone; representatives from Triad Health Networks, Key Physicians, Community Care of NC, Capitol Area Specialty IPA, Western NC Pediatric Collaborative and Coastal Carolina Health Care. [Be sure to read the feature on CCHC in today’s Bulletin.] as well as NCMS and Smith Anderson staff.

The Collaborative meets quarterly and rotates meeting locations among the membership. The next gathering of the NC ACO Collaborative is Thursday, Sept 19, 2013.  Physicians Healthcare Collaborative in Wilmington, NC will be the host. If you are interested in participating, please contact Melanie Phelps .


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