First National Survey Of ACOs Finds That Physicians Are Playing Strong Leadership And Ownership Roles
Author: Carrie H. Colla, Valerie A. Lewis, Stephen M. Shortell, Elliott S. Fisher
The extent to which physicians lead, own, and govern accountable care organizations (ACOs) is unknown. However, physicians’ involvement in ACOs will influence how clinicians and patients perceive the ACO model, how effective these organizations are at improving quality and costs, and how future ACOs will be organized. From October 2012 to May 2013 we fielded the National Survey of Accountable Care Organizations, the first such survey of public and private ACOs. We found that 51 percent of ACOs were physician-led, with another 33 percent jointly led by physicians and hospitals. In 78 percent of ACOs, physicians constituted a majority of the governing board, and physicians owned 40 percent of ACOs. The broad reach of physician leadership has important implications for the future evolution of ACOs. It seems likely that the challenge of fundamentally changing care delivery as the country moves away from fee-for-service payment will not be accomplished without strong, effective leadership from physicians.