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10 Ways Your ACO can Fail

From Sara Singer and Stephen Shortell, writing in JAMA: "Implementing Accountable Care Organizations: Ten Potential Mistakes and How to Learn From Them."

Mistake #6 is my personal favorite:
"6. Failure to Sufficiently Engage Patients in Self-care Management and Self-determination.   Patients and family members can provide considerable care particularly in managing multiple, complex chronic conditions. Patients need to be both considered a key part of the care team and educated about taking responsibility for their health and health care with support of friends and family members. Many potential ACOs have little experience with this degree of patient engagement."
Really?  "Little experience?" Try none.   Try less-than none, if unlearning a raft of bad habits counts as negative experience.  I predict we'll see more than one ACO fail due to an utter inability to spell either 'customer' or 'engagement' without being spotted the first seven letters.

Those ACOs will do everything technically and legally correct - hire the docs, buy the EMRs, redesign the organizations - only to realize too late that their long-term success hinges on convincing people to eat fewer hamburgers and more vegetables.  Good luck with that.

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