This is uncharted territory. We're used to treating patients, not populations of (healthy?) people.
Some of the early ACO resources I used are listed here:
The APTA Private Practice Section has two excellent webinars that are available as a free member benefit to PPS members. Go to the APTA Private Practice section website here.
...and click "Health Care Reform" - you will be asked for your APTA-PPS member log-in.
For non-members, the APTA has publicly posted its comments on the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
The APTA is advocating on behalf all practice settings and I was pleased that the ACO Comments addressed concerns of Private Practice Physical Therapists. Particularly, I noticed that the APTA urged CMs to...
"...waive uneccesary and inconsistent Medicare regulations for ACOs including, but not limited to... the requirement for physician signature/certification of the Plan of Care for physical therapy." (page 10)Finally, a resource that I found helpful was the Dept. Health and Human Services/Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services 10-page primer
Improving Quality of Care for Medicare Patients: Accountable Care Organizations.
Particularly pay attention to the 65 Quality Measures ACOs must meet in order to participate in shared savings - this is where I believe the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant have the opportunity to shine.
I counted at least 7 of the 65 Quality Measures that are part of the PT/PTA
scope of practice that could improve quality at low cost.
If physical therapists get Direct Access the number of Quality Measures PT/PTAs could impact could rise substantially.