Feb 11, 2013 • 27M

Dr. Kavita Patel Discusses the Promise of Accountable Care Organizations (February 11, 2013)

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David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: •Implementation of the Affordable Care Act •Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues •Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA •Healthcare research •Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues •Public health issues including the social determinates of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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One of the most discussed provisions of the Affordable Care Act promising to "bend the cost curve" are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).   CMS has now selected over 250, moreover physician-led, organizations as ACOs coverning four million Medicare beneficiaries.   ACOs offer the promise of improved coordinated care, care quality and reduced Medicare costs.  During this 27-minute interview Dr. Patel explains the impetus for and creation of Accountable Care Organizations, how rapidly ACOs are growing in number and what are some of the barriers limiting participation in the “shared savings” program.  She explains further how Medicare reimburses ACOs (Type 1 and 2) and the concern among providers regarding the freedom Medicare beneficiaries have in seeking care outside their ACO.  What ACO activity is occurring beyond Medicare or among large physician groups and private insurers, how and why ACOs might be successful and how and why ACOs serve as a catalyst for provider integration (and the downside risks involved with accelerated consolidation) are all also discussed.  The interview concludes with a brief summary of the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO learning network (www.acolearningnetwork.org).

Dr. Kavita Patel is a Fellow in the Economic Studies program and Managing Director for clinical transformation and delivery at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution.  She is also a practicing primary care internist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She served previously in the Obama Administration as Director of Policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House.  Dr. Patel also served as Deputy Staff Director for the late Senator Edward Kennedy.  She too has an extensive research and clinical background having worked as a researcher at the RAND Corporation and as a practicing physician in both California and Oregon.  She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas and her masters in public health from the UCLA.