Leavitt Partners Releases “The 2018 ACO Survey: Unique Paths to Success” White Paper

Salt Lake City, March 29, 2019—Today, Leavitt Partners released “The 2018 ACO Survey: Unique Paths to Success.” This white paper reports the findings from the 2nd Annual ACO Survey of 203 Accountable Care Organizations, conducted in collaboration with the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), to better understand current trends and predict future developments relating to ACOs. The survey covered topics related to contracting, financial risk, organizational structure, program initiatives, challenges, and priorities.

The key findings from this survey include:

  1. ACOs were almost evenly split on whether they would exit the program if Medicare began requiring downside financial risk. Integrated/hospital-led ACOs were much more likely than physician-led ACOs to say they would exit the program if required to take on downside risk.
  2. Integrated/hospital-led ACOs reported different challenges and priorities than physician-led ACOs.
  3. More experienced ACOs and ACOs that have taken on downside risk have adopted medication management initiatives at a higher rate than less experienced ACOs, potentially paving a path for the younger ACOs to follow.

According to David Muhlestein, Chief Research Officer for Leavitt Partners, “ACOs are at different places in their journey to value-based care, but they tend to follow a similar sequence of care delivery transformation initiatives as they develop. Policymakers need to ensure that sufficient financial incentives are in place for all types of ACOs to progress in their pathways to success.” Based on these survey results, ACO-enablers, policymakers, and other stakeholders should recognize that there can be multiple pathways to success and tailor solutions and incentives to specific segments of ACOs based on their unique experience, priorities, and challenges.

The paper can be viewed here.

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