Online Program

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) and their potential impacts on rural health management and practice

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Matt Bagwell, MPA, PhD Candidate, Rural Health Research Group, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model of patient centered care is hot topic in the literature and among policy makers. ACO executive personnel are in the developmental stages of advancing management and practice innovations that seek to optimize integrated patient-centered care. Their emerging policies will have wide-ranging and serious implications as to whether or not an ACO will actually achieve quality integrated care while lowering costs. As the ACO model is increasingly being adopted nationwide, there is a growing need to assess and better understand how and to what extent ACOs will involve rural health partners. Are rural health organizations and communities positioned to transition toward an effective ACO model? One significant obstacle in terms of optimizing rural ACOs participation and efficiency has been a lack of leadership, according to scholarly rural health literature. Adoption and implementation of ACOs by rural providers will require informed leadership and creativity to mitigate economic, geographic, cultural as well as legal and regulatory barriers; subsequently, best practices must to be identified and disseminated. Moreover, collaboration and discussion will be key factors in determining future ACO outcomes. This presentation highlights qualitative data provided by ACO administrative personnel describing their challenges and opportunities in establishing ACOs. This information is highly valuable to managers and administrators of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), as well as other rural health partners. As ACO implementation moves forward, understanding ACO leadership risks, opportunities, rewards, and challenges in the early phases of adoption can play a vital role in ongoing rural health strategic planning.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Assess how and to what extent ACOs will involve rural health partners

Keyword(s): Rural Health Care Delivery System, Rural Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PhD candidate at the University of Central Florida in the College of Health and Public Affairs studying Governance and Health Policy Research, who also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Western Kentucky University. I have worked in public health policy for 8 years. Currently, I am studying health disparities in rural and minority populations as well as network linkages among ACOs and RHCs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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