I’m not sure why I haven’t seen more people talking about this idea. When you start to look at the ACO financial models, I think there are some real comparisons between what health insurance companies do with patient populations and what ACOs will have to do with patient populations.
Should ACOs be looking to insurance companies on how to manage patient populations?
Another interesting dynamic at play here is that many insurance companies are acquiring provider organizations. Is this because insurance companies want to leverage their expertise with patient populations to get at the ACO money that is getting ready to flow?
I admit that I’m not an expert on all the various methods of insurance companies. Maybe they were under a very different model than ACOs, but even then it seems like the principles could still apply. Even just starting with the way insurance companies use data to analyze patient populations. Shouldn’t that same data analysis be able to be applied to an ACO?
I’m sure just thinking about the idea makes most doctors wonder if they want to keep practicing medicine. No doctor I know wants to be in the insurance business. They want to care for patients. Anything that takes them away from that is a distraction.
What are your thoughts? Can an ACO learn from insurance companies?