The Future of Hospital Employee Health Benefits


There has been significant discussion among policymakers and healthcare stakeholders about value-based purchasing and the advent of accountable care organizations (ACOs). Health systems and health plans are moving rapidly to establish ACOs, shifting the focus of care delivery from volume to outcomes. Consequently, population health management—that is, working to improve the health not just of one patient but of a health system’s entire populatio —has emerged as a critical tool for those moving toward value-based care delivery models.

But the path toward ACOs is somewhat uncertain; while there is broad excitement and support for the model, health systems have few points of reference for how to build a successful ACO. This is uncharted water, and many systems are learning as they go. For that reason, many health systems have opted to pilot smaller scale ACOs so that they can glean insights into what works and what doesn’t, before they radically change their business models. This paper examines how health systems’ own employee populations might serve as an ideal test case for ACO development, through the creation of the employee accountable care organization—what Evolent Health refers to as eACO.

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