Your ACO’s most significant costs may seem obvious. CMS and most ACOs have put an enormous emphasis on reducing utilization of hospital facilities and nursing home care to control costs. But your real key to cost reduction is knowing what drives avoidable admissions and stays in the first place. And with 50-60 percent of costs attributed to specialty physicians, that is where you need to start.
Specialists are—and should be—involved in your most complex patients’ care. Those specialists will benefit from a collaborative involvement in cost data. And both your ACO and your patients will benefit from better and more coordinated care as your organization works with specialists to reduce variation in costs of treatments, including procedures.