Physician practice participation in accountable care organizations: the emergence of the unicorn.

TitlePhysician practice participation in accountable care organizations: the emergence of the unicorn.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsShortell SM, McClellan SR, Ramsay PP, Casalino LP, Ryan AM, Copeland KR
JournalHealth Serv Res
Date Published2014 Oct
KeywordsAccountable Care Organizations, Asthma, Coronary Disease, Delivery of Health Care, Depression, Diabetes Mellitus, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Patient-Centered Care, Physician's Role, Practice Patterns, Physicians', United States

OBJECTIVE: To provide the first nationally based information on physician practice involvement in ACOs.

DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Primary data from the third National Survey of Physician Organizations (January 2012-May 2013).

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a 40-minute phone survey in a sample of physician practices. A nationally representative sample of practices was surveyed in order to provide estimates of organizational characteristics, care management processes, ACO participation, and related variables for four major chronic illnesses.

DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: We evaluated the associations between ACO participation, organizational characteristics, and a 25-point index of patient-centered medical home processes.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that 23.7 percent of physician practices (n = 280) reported joining an ACO; 15.7 percent (n = 186) were planning to become involved within the next 12 months and 60.6 percent (n = 717) reported no involvement and no plans to become involved. Larger practices, those receiving patients from an IPA and/or PHO, those that were physician-owned versus hospital/health system-owned, those located in New England, and those with greater patient-centered medical home (PCMH) care management processes were more likely to have joined an ACO.

CONCLUSIONS: Physician practices that are currently participating in ACOs appear to be relatively large, or to be members of an IPA or PHO, are less likely to be hospital-owned and are more likely to use more care management processes than nonparticipating practices.

Alternate JournalHealth Serv Res
PubMed ID24628449
PubMed Central IDPMC4213047
Grant ListP30 DK092949 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
Faculty Publication