NAACOS Summer Bootcamp 2021

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) typically hosts an annual winter Bootcamp, and they did so this year. However, given the popularity of the event, they hosted a second, virtual bootcamp on June 22nd and 23rd. The conference was well-attended by more than 100 individuals, and the overarching theme was “Harnessing your Data.” Interestingly, the attendees were primarily from organizations involved in multi-payer value-based contracts, so this served as an opportunity to find operational efficiencies. It also revealed a trend that as value-based care organizations continue to gain experience, they are negotiating even more through data empowerment.

Bootcamps are typically different from the NAACOS Spring and Fall conferences. At bootcamp, attendees focus on peer learning exchanges, and it is an opportunity to collaborate on best practices and challenges. This year, the first day of the bootcamp was focused on Answering the ‘Buy vs. Build’ dilemma and reviewed/accessing/using data in value-based contracts. The second day of the bootcamp was focused on topics around quality: how to close care gaps and preparing participants to handle electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs). To learn more about the 2021 MPFS and QPP Final Rule, click here.

Our own Amy Kotch and I were invited to speak on the topic of ACO Data 101 — sources, how to access data, and basic uses for data. This topic was shared with Jennifer Perloff and Rob Mechanic from the Institute for Accountable Care, who presented on “Using Data to Understand Your Position and Plan Your Future.” We found that it would be a good contrast for the Salient Healthcare team to discuss the myriad of data sources made available to provider organizations, the security required for personal health information (PHI), the transfer and storage processes, data enrichment examples, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used across the organization at the practice and provider levels for continuous process improvement. This discussion created a baseline of understanding of value-based care data, and Ms. Perloff and Mr. Mechanic provided more details on benchmarking and attribution, along with hands-on use cases for episode analytics.

Below are some highlights for those who missed the event:

1. Each organization will need to decide whether to build or buy their technology. While we heard from organizations across the entire spectrum, most organizations choose to buy at least some (if not all) of their technology. Given the complexity of the regulatory environment, and the ever-changing needs of the organization, it is important to partner with a solution vendor that you can trust- whether it is for performance management, care management, or quality reporting.

2. ACOs are very concerned about the new eCQMs and most organizations are not prepared for the vast changes in quality reporting. Some organizations have started to vet vendors, while others are considering how to overcome the all-payer, all-patients requirements on their own. While the quality reporting challenges are producing a lot of anxiety, it is an opportunity to ensure that your organization is using the data to improve care and close care gaps month over month.

3. While one of the themes was “reviewed, accessing, and using basic ACO data,” there is nothing basic about it. The number of data sources and complexity of the data, regardless of whether the organization has a single value-based contract or multiple contracts, presents significant resource constraints on organizations. 

The Salient Healthcare team is proud to support our clients in performance management, care management, and quality reporting needs. We are always striving to provide educational materials and stay abreast as new rules and regulations are released.

The Summer Bootcamp 2021 presented great educational opportunities. We hope to see everyone in person in the Fall for NAACOS’s first in-person conference since 2019.

Maria Nikol

About the Author


Senior Business Consultant

Maria Nikol is a senior business consultant with 10 years of experience in healthcare operations and healthcare strategy. Her specialization includes process improvement and the application of emerging models of healthcare delivery such as Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations. She holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Widener University and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

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