News Feature | November 6, 2013

3 Tips To Building An ACO

Source: Health IT Outcomes
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer


One speaker at the recent AHIMA Convention gives his take on building a successful ACO

Healthcare IT News reports “ACOs having tripled in number since 2011, to almost 500” and startup costs range from $1 million to $4 million. While many ACOs begin with population analytics projects, Naveen Sarabu, director of project management, Healthcare Solutions for Liaison, told attendees at the recent AHIMA Convention in Atlanta providers need to “flip the current approach and build from the ground up.”

Sarabu suggests three steps to successfully start an ACO:

  1. The practice level: “Start with the practice level information,” Sarabu explained. “The easiest thing to begin with is lab results information because that is standardized to a large extent.”
  2. Create a longitudinal record: Sarabu recommended getting claims data, 837s, EHR data, practice management system information. Also, physician documentation is key.
  3. Population health analytics:  “Whether it is claims data or clinical data, somehow you have to put them together for meaningful claims reports and other types of analysis,” Sarabu noted.

“Once you have that you have solved the puzzle,” Sarabu said. “You have the data that is needed for any kind of analytics.”

Fierce Health IT covered Sarabu’s presentation as well, writing, “One of the lessons of the Pioneer ACOs is that data is the key to making everything work, healthcare executives said during a recent panel discussion. ‘One of our biggest successes has using been predictive analytics to define the high-risk patients and then get our arms around them,’ said Greg Sheff, executive vice president of clinical services, Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, TX.”