Leavitt Partners Releases “Assessing Provider Partnerships for Accountable Care Organizations”

Salt Lake City, March 12, 2018 – Strategic provider partnerships are critical for an accountable care organization’s (ACO) economic survival and can add significant value for the consumer. In the March edition of Managed Care Leavitt Partners provides a framework for ACOs to assess individual partners and to determine the types of providers with whom they should partner, such as post-acute care providers, pharmacists, and social workers.

The article, titled “Assessing Provider Partnerships for Accountable Care Organizations,” presents five categories for ACOs to assess provider partnerships: preventive care, behavioral health, primary care, acute care, and post-acute care. The authors conducted an in-depth literature review of materials describing high-value health care organizations, convened a panel of experts to evaluate the framework, and conducted interviews with representatives of ACOs and entities representing various types of health care providers. Two key insights for providers include:

  1. Careful evaluation of an ACO’s challenges, goals, and patient population can help guide which partnerships to pursue and when
  2. An ACO’s partnership strategy must strike a balance between finding partners that can fulfill the immediate needs of the current-state health care system and those that will bring the most value in a quickly evolving system

ACOs can use this framework to evaluate and assess existing partners and potential future collaborations. However, additional infrastructure is needed to facilitate these effective provider relationships that make care coordination and care management more efficient.

“We need more payment models that specifically incent behavioral health providers, post-acute care providers, and pharmacists to work with ACOs,” remarked David Muhlestein, chief research officer at Leavitt Partners. “Creating an advanced alternative payment model under MACRA for those providers could encourage them to be proactive about working with physicians and hospitals in ACOs.”

About Leavitt Partners:

Leavitt Partners is a health care intelligence business. The firm helps clients successfully navigate the evolving role of value in health care by informing, advising, and convening industry leaders on value market analytics, alternative payment models, federal strategies, insurance market insights, and alliances. Through its family of businesses, the firm provides investment support, data and analytics, member-based alliances, and direct services to clients to support decision-making strategies in the value economy. For more information please visit