If there is one lesson already learned from the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) discussion it is that finding a niche is a top priority for physicians. In some cases, physicians have demonstrated a real commitment to owning more of the patient’s care by extending the coordination of care provided within their clinics. Whether its adding a surgery center or forming a collaboration of multidisciplinary services, this demonstration of innovation is inspiring amidst such an array of industry pressures including ACO and a myriad of others.
Converging challenges of trying to give more people access to care with flat or declining rates of health insurance coverage represents a threat for some physicians and an opportunity for others. Regardless of the view of this challenge, physicians measuring their financial performance in accordance with their health insurance contracts has never been more critical. So having the technical means to audit the accuracy and timeliness of these (capitated) payments to the physicians represents more innovation and “meaningful use” of electronic medical records and practice management software. It also represents one more important step away from capitulation among some of the other physicians who see no way to overcome the ‘myriad’ of challenges facing the healthcare community.