skip to nav skip to content

Project Details

Safety Net Accountable Care Organization (Safety Net ACO) readiness

Project Summary: 

One of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s priorities has been in supporting the delivery of cost effective care to safety net populations throughout the state. As part of this overall focus, the Foundation provided a $125,000 grant to the UC Berkeley Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Law and Social Policy in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health to examine the readiness of California’s safety net organizations to respond to new payment models and to deliver cost effective accountable care.

This grant included an examination of the rules and regulations governing such models as well as an assessment of internal organizational and practice capabilities. Specifically, the charge was to develop a “safety net readiness assessment” instrument that safety net organizations could use to examine their capabilities to assume responsibility for delivering accountable care. While the original stimulus was the ACA legislation involving federally funded CMS ACOs, the instrument was intended to apply to private sector initiatives as well.

As of December 2011, we have finished pilot testing the instrument and have provided both pilot counties with feedback reports. We have also released a federal policy brief, and will be releasing a state policy brief shortly. We will wrap up our project in January 2012 with the release of a third policy brief and a conference to review our findings with the broader safety net community.

Policy, Practice or Research Impacts: 

Safety Net ACOS will confront complex launch issues peculiar to being safety net providers. These more complex issues include the need to define a forward-looking service focus, the need to identify partners, the need to establish an effective governance structure, the need to address the problems of membership assignment and retention associated with a transitory population, and the need to develop quality performance measures tailored to the work of providing health care to such a population.

Contact Person: 
Matthew Chayt, JD
Contact Person's Email Address:
Principal Investigators: 
Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA
Blue Shield of California Foundation