ACO participation to grow rapidly next year

Nearly one-fifth of surveyed clinicians participate in an accountable care organization, while many more plan to join one within the next year, according to a new survey.

The research from Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that about half of all surveyed primary care physicians and endocrinologists expect to participate in an ACO next year.

“The expected growth of ACOs is quite staggering as both managed  care organizations and physicians appear to be buying into the core concepts of ACOs and, in many ways, we’re just now seeing the tip of the iceberg for ACOs,” says Roy Moore, Decision Resources Product Manager. “The emergence of ACOs is now upon us and these entities will present challenges and opportunities for the drug industry. A focus on costs and generic prescribing targets could harm branded therapies, but a push for drug compliance and screenings may increase the number of patients taking specific medications.”

The survey also finds that physicians currently participating in ACOs contract with a number of payer-types. The majority of surveyed physicians who currently participate in an ACO report that they contract with commercial plans and 59 percent also have agreements with Medicare Advantage and Medicaid MCOs.

About half (54 percent) of surveyed pharmacy directors cited congestive heart failure as one of two indications most likely to see improved outcomes from ACOs. In addition, 44 percent of surveyed pharmacy directors identified CHF as among the top two for cost savings, likely reflecting the availability of low-cost generics.

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