ACOs, Medical Homes and Future of PT Practice
Tampa--In the session, "ACOs, Medical Homes and Future of PT
Practice," on Saturday, June 8, panelists discussed how physical therapy could
fit into these new models of care. This roundtable session was truly a group
effort. Roshunda Drummond-Dye. JD and Gillian Russell, JD brought the legal
perspective, and Linda Arslanian, PT, DPT, MS, Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, FAPTA,
Craig Johnson, PT, MBA, Carolyn Oddo, PT, MS, FACHE, and Jason Richardson, PT,
DPT, OCS brought the clinical perspective.
So, what exactly is an Affordable Care Organization (ACO)?
It's a network of physicians, hospitals and providers who are incentivized to
cooperate to provide quality care and lower costs. The current model, the speakers explained, separates
different parts of health care into silos, while the new model wants to provide
unified care. The idea for ACOs came out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
which called for the creation of a shared savings program.
Medical homes are a lesser-known concept that also came out
of the ACA. A medical home is person-centered health facility, mainly serving
Medicaid-eligible patients with chronic conditions, that focuses on improved
outcomes for patients and better values for Medicaid. Medical homes center
around inter-disciplinary care. Clinicians, which can include physical
therapists, apply for grants to form community-based health care teams
supporting primary care physicians. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid
Innovation will provide up to $1 billion in grants to providers who come up
with innovative ways to deliver better health care and lower costs.
So, what does this mean for physical therapists? The
panelists outlined some of the potential outcomes and offered advice. Currently,
ACOs are voluntary, so physical therapists can operate outside of them. PTs
also have the option of contracting with more than one ACO. Under the ACO
model, collecting outcomes data, a theme that ran through several sessions at
PT 2012, becomes even more important. With medical homes, physical therapists
are not specifically named under the ACA rule that created them; however they
can partner with their state's Medicaid program to participate.
This informative session certainly left the audience with
plenty to think about regarding new ways to provide care.