Forty health systems join Premier's ACO Readiness Collaborative

By Diana Manos
10:16 AM

Forty health systems have joined the Premier healthcare alliance <a href="/directory/accountable-care-organization-aco" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Readiness Collaborative to improve community health using healthcare IT infrastructure, according to Premier president and CEO Susan DeVore.

Participating ACOs will work to build health information exchanges to enable coordination across provider networks, she said.

According to DeVore, "ACOs are a departure from the status quo, and will be an ambitious goal for even the most advanced healthcare systems."

She said participating health systems would develop the organization, skills, team and operational capabilities necessary to become effective ACOs capable of lowering costs by improving care coordination, efficiency, quality and patient satisfaction.

"Together, health systems in the ACO Readiness Collaborative will build the knowledge and expertise needed to transform today's system from one that treats illness, to one that delivers health and wellness," DeVore said. "In moving forward this way, these health systems are truly implementing the goals of healthcare reform – improved healthcare outcomes at the most cost-effective price for patients and taxpayers."

Nick Turkal, MD, president and CEO for Aurora Health Care said meeting the demands of healthcare reform would require providers to assume greater accountability for community health. "Keeping people healthy is the best way for health systems to add real value, control healthcare costs and increase overall satisfaction," he said. "We truly believe that ACOs are the future."

According to DeVore, members of the ACO Readiness Collaborative will work to learn best practices and start to build the critical components of accountable care, including:

  • A patient-centered foundation that designs the ACO from a patient's perspective to foster better engagement, satisfaction and increased accountability for health; 
  • Health homes that deliver primary care and manage health and wellness;
  • New approaches to primary, specialty and hospital care to reward coordination, efficiency and productivity;
  • Tightly integrated relationships with specialists, ancillary providers and hospitals so they are similarly focused and aligned to achieve high-value outcomes;
  • Provider/payer partnerships and reimbursement models that offer incentives for improved outcomes, rewarding value over volume.


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VA Secretary Shulkin testifying during the House Appropriations Subcommittee on March 15. Credit: C-span