Product-Based ACOs Are Poised for Growth, Industry Observers Tell AIS Newsletter

Share Article

The June issue of AIS’s Value-Based Care News offers a round-up of reasons why product-based accountable care organizations are popular among payers, employers and enrollees alike, and why they are poised for growth.

“I do think anecdotally that the backlash from HMOs seems to be fading away...and people are open to lower-priced products with a narrow network.” — Erin Shigekawa, health policy fellow at the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are increasingly partnering with insurers to offer ACO-based insurance products. Despite initial worries that these product types were too similar to HMOs to be popular with consumers, early signs indicate that product-based ACOs will continue to grow in size and number. Industry observers offer explanations why in the June issue of Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s (AIS) AIS’s Value-Based Care News (VBC).

“I do think anecdotally that the backlash from HMOs seems to be fading away a little bit and people are open to lower-priced products with a narrow network,” Erin Shigekawa, health policy fellow at the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, University of Michigan, tells VBC.

Studies have shown that narrow network plans overall are successful in holding down health care costs by as much as a third, Shigekawa says. And consumers who are purchasing their coverage on a public or a private exchange “are really sensitive to price,” she says, which is why she predicts that product-based ACOs will continue to grow.

Another factor helping product-based ACOs is a growing number of educated health care consumers shopping for insurance on exchanges, Paul Gardner, senior analyst on the ACO research team at Leavitt Partners LLC, tells VBC. “People are wary of having less choice, but as they realize they can save some money, they become more open to it,” he continues.

One such insurer having success with this approach is Minnesota-based insurer Medica, an early adopter of product-based ACOs. “As a percentage of our overall membership, My Plan by Medica membership continues to grow, [and] this momentum demonstrates the continued demand for a solution that provides cost savings, transparency and choice,” spokesperson Greg Bury tells VBC. Meanwhile, 93% of members enrolled in ACO networks re-enroll each year during open enrollment, indicating high satisfaction with the program, he says.

Visit to read the article in its entirety, which also includes details of Anthem Blue Cross’ innovative Vivity partnership in Los Angeles.

About AIS’s Value-Based Care News
AIS’s Value-Based Care News (VBC) delivers timely news, data and strategies related to ACOs, medical homes, bundled payments, coordinated care and global payments. Formerly published as ACO Business News, the 12-page newsletter focuses intently on value-based launches, products and results, and innovative arrangements that can help your organization improve the quality of care, lower costs and grow market share. Featuring the pros and cons of various strategies for different types of organizations, VBC is designed to help readers avoid the pitfalls ahead and transform exciting value-based care opportunities into winning business strategies. Visit for more information.

About Atlantic Information Services
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jill Brown, Executive Editor
Atlantic Information Services
+1 (202) 775-9008 Ext: 3058
Email >
since: 01/2011
Follow >
since: 01/2011
Like >
Atlantic Information Services, Inc.

Visit website