Five lessons on accountable care

Katja Behrendt, Innovation Delivery Manager, on five lessons from our recent Accountable Care Forum. 

A few weeks ago we hosted the Accountable Care Forum 2017, welcoming the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) to London with the support of the Institute for Global Health InnovationThe Health Foundation, and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

Health leaders from across England attended with delegates hearing from Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Mark McClellan, Director of Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Krishna Udayakumar, Director of the Global Health Innovation Center, Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at The Health Foundation as well as panel discussions with representatives from Ribera Salud and Gesundes Kinzigtal.

So, what did we learn?

1. Accountable Care is the long game

In the words of Santiago Delgado Izquierdo (0Business Development Officer, Ribera Salud), accountable care is:

“not a sprint but a marathon”

The importance of a long-term policy commitment to make it happen cannot be stressed enough!

2. Accountable care requires new payment models, upfront investment and innovative approaches. 

Mark McClellan (Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy) gave an overview of payment models to support accountable care, Dr Axel Heitmueller (ICHP) and audience members underlined the importance of upfront investment citing helpful Vanguard funding and Germany’s Innovation Fund to get started, while Krishna Udayakumar demonstrated with global examples in developing countries with far less resource than ours, that radical improvement in health can happen.

3. Organisational culture and clinical leadership must be aligned toward shared goals and changes in the way we work and deliver care….but it’s challenging

Leaders in the room stressed the difficulty of engaging clinicians and key stakeholders throughout the current system. Organisations need to find new ways of working with each other,

“the human factor is key to the success of accountable care”

as Jennifer Dixon (The Health Foundation) put it. Nick Hicks, (Founder and the Chief Executive, Cobic) further stressed the importance of common purpose and shared goals.

Participants were vociferous in the need for head-space to undertake this transformation, supported with relevant organisational capability for systems leadership and skills for data analysis, service redesign and aligning incentives.

4. Don’t get hung up with form, start working on the function

The experts emphasised the need to just get started. Take steps within your stride:

 “Stop doing what you’re doing now and start doing something that provides value.”

And it doesn’t matter what you call it, don’t get hung up on semantics: Accountable Care, Population Health, Value-Based Care, PACS, MCPS… just take steps to follow the core principles and you’ll begin to demonstrate value for patients faster than you think!

5. We need to move from ‘siloed’ data, to data that provides intelligence about our populations

Mark McClellan explained there is a real need to share data and create interoperability to understand health outcomes within an accountable care system. This helps capture learning across providers and systems.

Interested in additional opportunities to learn and engage?

There are several ways you can involved with our work on Accountable Care: