The cHealth Blog

So I was surprised at my reaction to a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Clayton Christensen and colleagues.  The main premise of the piece is that the concept of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is misguided and that these organizations will be more likely to fail than not. I’ve been an admirer of Christensen’s work over the years and as you might expect, there is a lot to like in his WSJ piece.  However, as I watch healthcare providers in our integrated delivery system deal with the challenges of payment reform and accountable care, I am more optimistic than dismayed.  Let me go through the WSJ piece point by point and offer some thoughts.

For me, the first red flag is the assertion that ACOs are ‘latter day health maintenance organizations.’  The biggest difference in HMOs, as we experienced them, and ACOs are the locus of execution.  The…

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