Many healthcare executives may still be on the fence about the future impact of accountable care organizations (ACOs), but most of them still believe their institutions will ultimately join an ACO, according to FierceHealthcare's report on the results of a survey released by U.S. News and Fidelity Investments earlier this week.  According to the survey, 66.4 percent of the more than 1,800 hospitals and researchers surveyed were "likely" or "extremely likely" to join an ACO, whereas only 3.7 percent said they were "not at all likely" to join an ACO.

But as to whether or not ACOs will significantly improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery, the jury is still out.  Respondents are split with a large 36.9 percent saying they were unsure.  Time will tell. 

For those in the life sciences industry that don’t want to take a wait and see attitude, at least one third-party consulting firm has jumped in with early constructive advice.  The Alliance Life Science Consulting Group, Inc. released a white paper, Accountable Care Organization Clinical Integration: What the New Framework Means for Life Sciences Manufacturers and the Market.  While aimed primarily for manufacturers in the life sciences, the document makes observations and recommendations on how to appeal to new ACOs.  Alliance Life Science Consulting points out that ACOs Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committees are going to be focused on efficacy, safety and cost and it’s incumbent upon manufacturers to have the data demonstrating the value proposition of their products.

We will continue to monitor for further discussions on the ability of ACOs to improve quality and efficacy, and reduce costs.  We also hope to begin highlighting companies that are providing solutions for hospitals/ACOs looking to purchase high-quality, lower-cost product options.