Joel Ario Discusses ACOs' Role on Exchanges

ACOs Loom Large on Exchanges, But Form, Risk Model Aren't Clear
– ACO Business News

Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, spoke to ACO Business News about the role that accountable care organizations (ACOs) are likely to play on health insurance exchanges.

As reported by ACO Business News, ACOs are likely to play a huge role on the exchanges and are uniquely suited to do well in a market dominated by narrow-network plans competing in large part on price. However, it's not clear what form ACOs will take on the exchanges.

Back in the 1990s, HMOs "were forced down the throats of consumers," said Ario. "This time around, they will be offered as an option on the exchanges. They are offered as one choice, and you don't have to take it." However, ACO products will have a "better price point," he said.

"Maybe consumers won't necessarily take it the first time," he said. But over time, Ario said he anticipates less-expensive narrow network exchange products—some of which will be ACOs—to do well on the exchanges, in large part because of lower prices. Those networks that excel in quality measures will do especially well, he said, noting that "narrow networks often do better on quality."

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