ACOs Not for Faint-Hearted Physicians

ACOs Not for Faint-Hearted Physicians

The most successful accountable care organizations will be those whose physicians have an active hand in developing the ACO architecture, predicts Jeffrey R. Ruggiero, an attorney advising the Queens County Medical Society on its ACO development approach.

Contrary to past attempts to reform the healthcare system, there is a much greater willingness today by physicians to embrace ACOs, to give up some of their autonomy and to practice with peers, said Ruggiero during last month’s webinar, Physician-Owned ACOs: Overcoming the Legal and Regulatory Compliance Challenges. The CMS Shared Savings Program will enable ACOs for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in January 2012, Ruggiero noted.

The most important consideration in ACO creation is who will manage the accountable care organization, said Ruggiero, a partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. The best ACO leaders will share a strategic vision, will be able to articulate that vision and will encourage participation among their peers. He recommends that interested organizations identify a core group of 40 to 50 doctors who are willing to explore ACO formation. The Queens County Medical Society ACO, comprised of more than 700 local physicians, will be one of the largest physician-owned ACOs in New York State.

Beyond management considerations, the legal and regulatory ramifications of the ACO model can be daunting, said Ruggiero. More than 30 federal entities help to police the healthcare industry, and there are at least five types of state laws to consider when creating an ACO.

Ruggiero also walked through the antitrust considerations, fraud and abuse compliance, and the financial and administrative structure of a physician-owned ACO.

In case you missed this webinar, you still have a chance to hear this highly-rated program.

Register to listen today or order your training DVD or CD:

Ruggiero discussed:

  • Anticipating CMS program details;
  • Achieving and maintaining compliance for existing FTC requirements, while positioning for possible changes;
  • Developing a multi-disciplinary compliance approach; and
  • Creating policies and procedures for ongoing compliance monitoring.

You'll also get to listen to the question and answer session to hear about the role of health plans and specialists and home health, hospice and skilled nursing facilities in ACOs; guidelines for selecting physicians to manage the ACO; the features of an ideal physician practice for an ACO; and the ACO model with the best chance of succeeding at the goals of improving the value of healthcare and controlling or reducing costs.

Here's what participants said about the webinar:

The webinar provided us with "a better understanding of ACOs and what it will take to make them successful and how the tools we offer can be integrated in the system," according to one participant.

The conference was valuable with the presenter's level of knowledge on the subject, said Mike Farley with Douglas County Individual Practice Association, Inc.

You can "attend" this program right in your office and enjoy significant savings — no travel time or hassle; no hotel expenses. It’s so convenient! Invite your staff members to listen to this conference. We will send you a DVD or CD-ROM of the conference proceedings or a link to our web site with a username and password. You can log in and listen to the program right from your computer — any time of the day or night, whenever convenient for you and your colleagues — and benefit from the archived recording of the conference, including the Q&A period.

To register for the on-demand re-broadcast of Physician-Owned ACOs: Overcoming the Legal and Regulatory Compliance Challenges or order the training DVD or CD-ROM, please visit:

I hope you find it useful.


Melanie Matthews
Executive Vice President
The Healthcare Intelligence Network