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    How to have healthy awareness and educate yourself regarding ACOs, expert advises

    Analyzing the importance of accountable care organizations and how they might impact ophthalmology

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    An examination on accountable care organizations and how they may impact ophthalmology.


    Incline Village, NV—An author once said that the first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

    Along those lines, Bruce Maller—president of BSM Consulting, Incline Village, NV—tested the awareness of his audience of primarily specialists in ophthalmology, asking whether they were familiar with accountable care organizations (ACOs) forming in their markets? A solid 60% answered affirmatively at the ASCRS session at which he spoke in Boston.

    More in this issue: Editorial: Puff the magic pot dragon

    Though awareness of ACOs appears to be on the rise, acceptance is still slow to come. When he followed up that question with whether any specialists in the audience had signed an agreement to be part of an ACO, only 19% answered yes.

    He said the real “noise” of the session was not so much about ACOs, but more so about the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on providers and payers.

    In his presentation, Maller offered what he dubbed a “distillation” of what specialists need to know within the context of their practices and surrounding communities, focusing on key ACA provisions, an ACO overview and their current activity, and how ACOs might impact ophthalmology.  

    Specifically, he chose to address:

    1) Medicaid expansion

    2) Impact of health insurance benefit exchanges

    3) Introduction of ACOs and current activity

    Medicaid expansion

    According to Maller, the big push behind the ACA’s Medicaid expansion is to get more people insured.

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