Can ACO’s improved quality lower or contain cost
The real potential advantage of an ACO from a cancer perspective is improved integration of care, coordination of care.
Every oncologist in the world will tell you, and it doesn’t matter if they are employed by a hospital or not, that the quality of the dialogue between the primary caregiver and the oncologist is just not good enough. The communication is commonly precipitated by emergencies, and it’s absolutely maddening to providers.
If there’s a real opportunity here, it’s the opportunity to coordinate care in a better fashion. That will happen if there’s a common IT platform, if there are incentives for trying to make sure that care is coordinated. In an ACO, there are such incentives.