Tag: co-management

The Quest for the “Not For Comfort” Healthcare Organization

The current reorganization of health care could make it better and cheaper for everyone, harnessing real creative and competitive energies to build the “next health care”—or it could lead to local monopolies, higher prices and less real competition where it matters. The many and various moves toward accountability, competition and transparency could defeat themselves.

The theme of the reorganization is clear: new types of cooperation between physicians, hospitals and other providers that cut down on duplication and unnecessary procedures and tests; that make the system accountable both for processes and outcomes; and that share economic risk among the providers. This new and strange cooperation comes in many types, typically labeled “accountable care organizations” (ACOs), “bundling,” “patient-centered medical homes” (PCMHs) and “co-management.”

All these concepts require new structures: complex organizational, contractual, reporting, liability and payment structures that in one way or another stretch across specialties and providers throughout whole regions. What could these new structures (particularly ACOs) look like if they were to turn evil? They could look like monopolies, like regional health care cartels, capable of forcing other providers into disadvantaged relationships and jacking up prices to health plans and employers.Continue reading…