Not everybody believes that accountable care organizations (ACOs), a bulwark of the Affordable Care Act, will ride to medicine’s rescue. In fact, in these pages, well-known policy experts such as Regina Herzlinger, PhD, of Harvard Business School, and David J. Brailer, MD, PhD, the health technology czar under President George W. Bush, have been downright dismissive (http://tinyurl.com/herzlinger-view and http://tinyurl.com/brailer-interview, respectively). In fact, Brailer told us, “Accountable care organizations are a publicity stunt created by Congress and the administration to make people feel like they were reforming care delivery when everyone knew they weren’t.”
So, pressure’s on for those trying to make ACOs function. A study in the January issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy looks at how 46 ACOs handle pharmacy. They do a few things well, but some areas need improvement. For instance, only 9% are good at notifying a doctor when a prescription has been filled.
“Developing the capabilities to support, monitor, and ensure appropriate medication use will be critical to optimal patient outcomes and ACO success,” the authors say.
What are ACOs doing?
Percentage of 175 members of the American Medical Group Association that consider themselves highly ready to undertake each operation
Transmit prescriptions electronically
View prescription and medical data in single system
Encourage appropriate generic use with formularies