How to make the most of ACOs and value-based care

"The AOA has made the elimination of barriers to OD participation in accountable care organizations a top priority."

Value-based care is an emerging model that will help shape how you practice eye care in the future. But are you prepared to find your place in it? 

Medicare is rapidly moving toward a new system of accountable care organizations (ACO). Both public and private health plans are embracing value-based integrated care models such as ACOs and patient-centered medical homes (PCMH). To help you keep up with these trends, the AOA Third Party Center recently unveiled two new resources: the Optometrists' Guide for ACO Participation and the online ACO Resource Toolkit (member login required to view--click here to become a member).

What the guide and toolkit provide

The guide starts with the basics of the structure and function of ACOs-plus information on how to join a network. 

In addition to the guide, the toolkit gives in-depth resources including: 

  • Selected articles with background on ACOs and other value-oriented health systems
  • Links to major ACO-related organizations and relevant industry resources
  • A complete list of existing Medicare-sanctioned ACOs (with key contact persons when available)
  • Examples of "best-practice" ACO models that properly include optometrists
  • Support resources such as PowerPoint slides and short videos to use in meetings with ACO administrators 
  • Information on AOAExcel's OcuHubTM, which will provide optometrists the electronic health records (EHR) connectivity required for participation in integrated care networks 
  • Information on a new AOA Third Party Center Access Resource Team, now being established to assist optometrists with local advocacy efforts for inclusion in integrated health networks

"The AOA has made the elimination of barriers to OD participation in accountable care organizations a top priority," said Stephen Montaquila, O.D., chair of the center's executive committee, after the toolkit was introduced at the 2013 Optometry's Meeting®. "I urge all AOA members to review the new guide and then consider approaching, engaging and joining these emerging care systems."

July 29, 2013

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