Following up on my pre-Thanksgiving post, I’m reporting back on what friends and relatives think about some of the terms for new healthcare delivery entities, e.g., Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).
What I heard is consistent with my previous conversations: People think that ACOs are like HMOs, and Medical Homes might be nursing homes, home health, or hospice, etc. One great insight came from my cousin who is a teacher. She told me that teachers react negatively to the word “accountability” because of the No Child Left Behind (except those who don’t measure up) law – which according to a RAND analysis from the summer of 2010 is “encouraging teachers to focus on some students at the expense of others, and discouraging the development of higher-thinking and problem-solving skills.” (Yikes! That doesn’t sound good for long-term innovation, economic growth, and international competitiveness.)
Solutions for Engaging the Public with Healthcare Transformation
I’ve been talking to a variety of people involved with health transformation at the national and local level about this information/perception gap, and am looking for ideas for raising the public’s understanding about why more team-based and coordinated care will improve quality and efficiency for them as individual patients. If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to comment. In addition, I’ll be talking to more friends and families during the remainder of the holiday season about their impressions of the new terms, (such as ACOs and PCMHs), as well as the benefits of the healthcare delivery changes that are on the horizon, e.g., why the iconic one-on-one relationship with a solo Dr. Welby-like primary care physician may not be the way to get the highest quality care.