Payment & Delivery Models

Key issues to consider when forming an ACO with hospitals


Physicians have many options to affiliate and clinically integrate with hospitals to improve service delivery and positively impact financial viability for both parties. 

One such option is for physicians to partner with hospitals to form an accountable care organization (ACO).

This resource addresses key issues physicians should consider to develop their strategy for a mutually beneficial relationship with hospitals in their market.

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Key takeaways

  • Any type of ACO arrangement requires significant physician leadership for structuring necessary clinical integration and launching any required innovations.
  • The critical first step is creating a group of physician providers whose professional reputations enable them to serve as natural leaders.
  • The essential next step is securing independent legal and financial advice.
  • ACO success requires physician practice commitments that go beyond simply partnering with a hospital. 
  • Physicians must determine whether their community would best be served by a complete or partial integration targeting specific services and patient populations. This proactive stance ensures their professional futures are not fully dependent upon the success of the integration.