Mental Health Division, Medical Directorate
Placement: Harvard Medical School
Mentor: Michael Chernew, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School)
Co-Mentor: Joel S. Weissman, Ph.D. (Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School)
Project: What Lessons on the Effective Implementation of Accountable Care Can Be Drawn from the Medicare Accountable Care Organization Program?
Daniel Northam Jones, M.A., is a 2015–16 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. He is currently a program manager at NHS England, leading on the design and implementation of the first access and waiting-time standards in mental health services—a key reform initiative commenced in his previous post as adviser to Rt. Hon. Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care and Support in the U.K. Department of Health. In this role, he was responsible for driving delivery across the Minister’s top priorities, and for managing strategic relationships with political advisors to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary of State, and senior stakeholders in national healthcare bodies, NGOs, and NHS organizations. He previously held a senior advisor on health and public services position in the U.K. Cabinet Office, where he led multiple implementation reviews of government programs in health, social care, welfare, and rehabilitation; and founded an award-winning corporate initiative to improve intra-departmental collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Northam Jones received a M.A. in religion and society from the University of Durham, where he was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Scholarship.
Policymakers in both the US and UK are pursuing a range of reforms to move towards accountable care as a mechanism for controlling rising healthcare costs while improving quality and safety. Providers are undertaking delivery system reforms to reduce cross-organizational boundaries and coordinate care, in the US through the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and in the UK through fifty “Vanguard” areas working to integrate multiple providers across a defined geography. To support these changes, payers are moving towards global budgets to drive provider accountability for the totality of healthcare costs, giving stronger incentives to reduce waste and provide higher quality care in lower cost settings. Finally, professionals are adopting more patient-centered models of care to meet patients’ changing expectations of services, and respond to the totality of patients’ needs in a way that more effectively meets their personal goals and preferences. The rapid expansion and early success Medicare ACOs provides fertile ground for informing how these strategies are working in practice. Northam Jones’ project will examine key enablers of the cost and quality improvements that ACOs are seeking to implement, including: differences between ACOs that do and don’t include a hospital; how ACOs are defining and implementing patient-centered care; and how ACOs could be held accountable for the prescribing costs not currently included within the ACO program. The research will be mixed-methods and include desk-based quantitative analysis and literature synthesis, as well as expert interviews and case-studies with ACOs. Ultimately, Northam Jones’ research will develop original insights on understanding variation between ACOs and how this influences performance, and provide general lessons on how payers and providers can introduce accountable care to achieve the “triple aim.”
Career Activity since Fellowship:
Current Position: Senior Strategy Programme Manager, NHS England (updated 11/2016)