Nancy J. Ham, president & CEO of MedVentive in Waltham, Mass., has more than 10 years experience preparing hospitals to launch ventures coordinating care with physicians and other providers. Lately much of her time is taken up with helping hospitals start accountable care organizations and similar ventures. Speaking at the National Accountable Care Organization Congress in Los Angeles, she offered eight specific ways to launch and run an ACO without losing money.
1. Squeeze funds out of your existing budget. An ACO takes a great deal of investment to get started, but there are ways to keep from borrowing all of it. "You can find lots of money in internal operations," Ms. Ham says. In one project she was involved in, the organization freed up $1 million by using existing funds in its budget. "You can find money just by focusing on your own shop," she says.