Enabling the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Application and Readiness Workgroup

An Accountable Care Organization is a health care delivery model intended to reward quality of care over quantity of care. This example illustrates the impact of effective project management in the ACO application submission process.

In early 2018 Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) was granted approval to submit an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Based on the 2017 ACO Application Toolkit and feedback from a third party consultant, the MCHS application consisted of 59 legal, governance and narrative questions.
Project Manager (PM) resources were deployed to lead MCHS through the ACO Application and Request for Information (RFI) process. These resources managed the relationship between Mayo and the third party consultant. In late 2018, CMS announced that the ACO Program would change and the application period would begin in January 2019. PM resources facilitated the reforecasting of financial data and scope of the new program requirements for Mayo Clinic committee approval.
Two administrative teams were established to accomplish the task at hand. The first team, the ACO Application Team, included leaders responsible for answering application questions. The second team, the ACO Readiness Team, required leaders to solicit input to effectively implement ACO requirements region-wide. As a result of these efforts, Mayo Clinic received notification from CMS in June 2019 that it had accepted Mayo’s application to become an ACO.