President and Chief Executive Officer

Req Number: SAYK3Z
Location: Relocation is not required but strong D.C. presence preferred.
Posted: 4/17/2024
Category: Life Sciences/Healthcare : Hospital/Health Systems
Job Type: Permanent

Position President and Chief Executive Officer
Company National Association of ACOs (NAACOS)
Location Washington, D.C.
Reporting Relationship The President & CEO will report to the Board of Directors.

Organization Background
NAACOS is a membership association for accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other provider organizations working in value-based healthcare payment and delivery models. NAACOS represents approximately 430 ACOs that serve more than 9 million patients in Medicare ACOs. NAACOS current President and CEO, Clif Gaus, founded NAACOS in 2012 and has served as CEO since then. NAACOS operates a fully virtual workplace with staff working from home offices throughout the United States. NAACOS has a Washington, D.C., mailing address with several offices sublet for the government affairs team.

In October 2012, a small group of ACO senior executives gathered to brainstorm about how best to structure and launch ACOs in response to the affordable care act and opportunities to improve Medicare through the evolving ACO model. At the time, ACOs were forming rapidly and interacting with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), yet ACOs lacked a cohesive voice or even an effective way to exchange ideas. To fill this void, NAACOS was launched to ensure ongoing and sustainable advocacy and education for the ACO industry. Led by founding Board Members Stephen Nuckolls, Mike Barrett, Dr. Tom Graf, Bruce Fried, along with other ACO leaders and experts, NAACOS took shape in just a few months, becoming an effective voice for the ACO community. Throughout its history, NAACOS has remained true to its roots as a group formed by ACOs, governed by ACOs, and focused on ACOs, while broadening scope to reflect ACO-like models in commercial and Medicaid payment.

Over the past decade, the ACO model has evolved from an academic concept to a market-based solution to fragmented and costly care that enables local physicians, hospitals, and other providers to work together and be responsible for improving quality, enhancing patient experience, and reducing waste to keep care affordable.

The history of NAACOS mirrors the rapid growth of ACOs. At the time of NAACOS’ founding, the organization had about 50 members. Today, NAACOS’ members include nearly half of the 700 ACOs that serve an estimated 23 million Americans covered by Medicare, commercial insurance, and Medicaid across local communities in all 50 states.

Initially, NAACOS focused on ensuring effective ACO participation in public policy deliberations. With an interim board and just a few staff members, NAACOS CEO Clif Gaus focused on gaining a “seat at the table” in key federal ACO policy discussions.

Working with the board and the NAACOS ACO member community, Gaus provided sound, consistent, and workable solutions to CMS early in the agency’s ACO policy deliberations. Today, NAACOS members continue to have unprecedented access to leadership at CMS and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation via 1:1 meetings, coalitions, Hill days, conference participation and “open mic” sessions at NAACOS conferences.

Beyond advocating for workable policy, NAACOS’s mission grew to include training and educational offerings that are vital to the ACO community. Then and now, NAACOS focuses on providing programs that are relevant to real-world, day-to-day ACO operations.

In 2017, recognizing the scarcity of objective science on accountable care strategies, NAACOS provided seed funding to launch the Institute for Accountable Care, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission, first, to build the evidence base on the impact of ACOs on both quality and cost, and second, to identify and disseminate best practices used by ACOs to improve population health.

While the Institute will benefit from unique access to NAACOS’ membership, the Institute is a separate organization and conducts independent and objective research. The two organizations cooperate on select projects, working with NAACOS members to implement results of research and demonstration projects.

In late 2023, NAACOS Leadership began a planning effort to design a 3-year roadmap of strategic priorities. This effort included interviews with more than thirty key stakeholders, a literature review of the current state of accountable care in both public policy and the private sector, a market landscape assessment, and customer focus groups. Through this work, NAACOS sought to deepen an understanding of the organization’s current market position and the overall climate for accountable care, and to inform a vision ahead of anticipated organizational changes. Key themes emerge:
  • Value-based care, as a movement, has come far, but still has a long way to go.
  • The business case for accountable care is struggling with increasingly challenging financial methodologies, a post-pandemic economy and growing competitive environments.
  • Political support has been unstable.
  • Competition for members’ time, energy and resources is high.
  • Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue evolving, and with that, their needs are changing.
As a result of this planning, NAACOS Leadership and Board adopted a 3-year roadmap that envisions a future where:
  • NAACOS is the preeminent organization through which entities engage in value-based care transformation network, engage in peer-to-peer learning, and gain information on best practices to improve performance.
  • NAACOS shares learning and educational opportunities with a broader base of membership and allows access for stakeholders supporting better care and smarter spending who may never be official members.
  • NAACOS continues to broaden and deepen support for value among external stakeholders through the creation of intentional spaces to share understanding and collaborate to sustain the momentum towards value.
Strategic Priorities
To carry through on this vision, NAACOS identified three distinct strategic pillars. First, to broaden NAACOS membership beyond ACOs to include more types of value-based care entities. Second, to cultivate and amplify a community of value-based care learning. Third, to broaden and deepen support for the value movement with external stakeholders.

Broaden Mission and Members
These strategic pillars depend on clear agreement and implementation of updates to the mission and membership. NAACOS’ Leadership will draft and implement a new mission statement to signal a commitment beyond ACOs to include more organizations and professionals engaged in a variety of value-based care organizations. Key elements of this new mission are affordability, value, accountability, and patient-centeredness through provider-led coordination and accountability.

Furthermore, leadership will collaborate to identify and define new categories of members beyond but adjacent to ACOs. The Board of Directors will adapt current bylaws, policies, and processes to clarify these new audiences and recruit as members. The efforts described in Pillars Two and Three (ie, increase education activities and engage more stakeholder organizations) will be essential to supporting this expansion of our membership foundation by creating new education benefits to meet the needs of value-based care organizations and engaging partner organizations that can connect us to new audiences, demonstrate our credibilityand showcase the high-quality benefits we offer. In addition, growing current ACO-focused membership benefits will be critical to maintain existing members.

The changes to mission and membership categories are under way as of April 2024. These will be further developed and implemented throughout 2024 as we begin marketing to new audiences and seek opportunities for NAACOS to expand more broadly into value-based care.

The key measure of long-term success will be an expanded membership – both more volume and more organizations for value-based payment models.

Cultivate & Amplify a Community of VBC Learning
NAACOS wants to expand education and improve tools, resources, and shared learning events in a dramatic way to promote a thriving community of learning that delivers better care and smarter spending. This includes a continued focus on those who deliver care – but not solely ACOs. The updated target audience for membership and education activities and content includes providers, professionals, and entities contracting for accountable care delivery with payers. In evolving from current education offerings, NAACOS will seek not only to curate and convene, but also to develop content and best practices, and be a hub for sharing both value-based care operational and clinical education content to improve care delivery and outcomes. Further, NAACOS will explore options for tailoring content both to specific roles within participating organizations (e.g., cohorts of CFOs, physicians, and quality leaders) as well as providing opportunities for regional and population-specific shared learning. In addition, as part of the commitment to broaden and deepen support and engagement for accountable care, NAACOS would allow access to education beyond members.

Through these efforts, NAACOS intends to grow and support the next generation of accountable care leaders.

Key measures of long-term success include:
  • Recognized source of tools, resources, learning opportunities, collaboration and convening for those engaging in accountable care (not just ACOs).
  • NAACOS is known for dynamic, high-quality content, education opportunities, materials, and events.
In addition to continued efforts to expand content offered at planned events to address accountable care across all lines of business, NAACOS will:
  • Refine and recommend changes to access to events and education content already planned for 2024.
  • Develop and execute 1-3 pilot(s) to gain more insight and inform: new content, new audiences, and the level of effort to create and operate.
  • Make recommendations for 2025-26 commitment to advance value-based care performance through content, activities, and infrastructure based on learnings from the pilot(s).
Deepen & Broaden Support for the Value Movement
NAACOS wants to broaden and deepen work with others engaged in value for greater collective impact and understanding. This includes fostering engagement between and among critical stakeholders, both to share perspectives on value-based care and learn from one another. NAACOS envisions that this sharing will lead to integrating new perspectives and learning into NAACOS’ priorities and offerings. In addition, by fostering productive, shared spaces NAACOS hopes to leverage understanding to support and advance priorities (e.g., thought leadership, advocacy, value-based care market solution development). The intention to deepen and broaden support for the value movement represents both an intentional pursuit of formal collaboration with non-member organizations engaged in value, as well as a more general intention demonstrated through sharing education with a broader community to advance value-based care.

Key measures of long-term success include:

  • Value has sustainable growth – as measured by growing the number of lives in an accountable care relationship, agnostic of value-based payment model.
  • Stable political support – advocacy positions that are more reflective of the industry with more groups actively advocating for them, increased champions in Congress, the Office of Management and Budget and the White House.
  • NAACOS is a thought leader in value-based care, engaged in creating a shared vision with others.
  • NAACOS has a more differentiated position in the association market (among competitors) and is a preferred partner with other stakeholders in healthcare.
  • External stakeholders support and share in the cost of education and advocacy for value-based care.
  • Members and other key stakeholders (e.g., patients) see NAACOS as *the* organization to support and advance their value efforts.
Early action in 2024 includes identifying and segmenting the partners NAACOS seeks to engage
and for what purpose. Strategic purposes for engagement include:

  • Promoting value through thought leadership, communications, and research.
  • Advocating (e.g., Congressional, and deeper ACO or APM policy issues).
  • Education (e.g., partnerships, sharing resources, leveraging for subject matter expertise).
  • Advising and informing NAACOS’ advocacy and education activities.
  • Creating avenues for members to engage with external stakeholders.
  • Expanding NAACOS’ reach to new organizations and individuals. After identifying and segmenting external stakeholders, or even simultaneous to this effort, NAACOS will consider the purpose and make recommendations regarding existing partnerships including the ACO Coalition and the Alliance for Value-Based Care.
After identifying and segmenting external stakeholders, or even simultaneous to this effort, NAACOS will consider the purpose and make recommendations regarding existing partnerships including the ACO Coalition and the Alliance for Value-Based Care.

Taken together, these strategic pillars and the foundational changes to mission, membership, and marketing represent an exciting path forward for NAACOS, one that builds from NAACOS’ history of leadership in value transformation. Thanks to NAACOS’ members, Board, and team there is a substantial platform of successful advocacy and rich education to build upon. NAACOS is in a strong position today to invest in the change and growth envisioned here to support broader advocacy, a community of learning, and growing membership and services for those delivering value-based care.

Position Summary
NAACOS is seeking an experienced and talented executive who is passionate about leading an association that is committed to enhancing quality of care, reducing costs, and improving health outcomes. As the lead spokesperson for NAACOS, this leader will have the authenticity and credibility nationally to inspire, motivate, and influence others. He/she will be masterful in relationship building with the board, staff, members, government agencies, legislatures, insurance companies, and health systems.

Overseeing an approximately 17-member staff, the President & CEO leads and manages NAACOS through a capable executive team of two direct reports, the Senior Vice President of Operations and the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. He/she leads on a regional and national level the development of new policies and programs that serve the best interests of its members. The CEO makes decisions and executes within existing policies as they have been approved by the Board of Directors.

He/she plans, organizes, directs, and coordinates the staff, programs, and activities of the NAACOS to assure that objectives are attained, plans are fulfilled, and members’ needs are met. He/she maintains effective internal and external relationships with the government as well as with key healthcare organizations throughout the country. He/she will manage a $6 million annual operating budget, assure value for expenditures made, and develop forward-looking constructive growth initiatives for NAACOS. Additionally, while the NAACOS staff is generally virtual, there is an expectation that the CEO will have a strong D.C. presence.

Key Responsibilities
The President & CEO is responsible for the following:
  • Serves as the principal voice of NAACOS to all constituencies and assures the organization is perceived as a force within the industry; promotes NAACOS to local, regional, and national constituencies.
  • Leads effectively in the public sphere and represents the voice of the future; manages member expectations pertaining to advocacy needs.
  • Leads a focused, effective legislative operation at the state and federal levels; responds proactively to the complexities and challenges associated with the transformation of the industry.
  • Consistently promotes the highest levels of effective advocacy and serves at the voice of the ACOs at the federal level by maintaining strong external relationships with key government and business leaders to ensure the best interests of member organizations are served. Drives NAACOS’ mission to enhance quality of care, reduce costs, and improve health outcomes.
Membership Development
  • Actively engages the membership in the life of NAACOS by providing significant opportunities for participation in governance and policy development; by encouraging member attendance at national, regional and local forums devoted to advocacy and education; by convening formal and informal membership constituencies to address shared issues and concerns; by personally providing recognition to outstanding members and their programs; and by ensuring the availability of consistent opportunities for member assessment of and recommendations for NAACOS programs and activities.
  • Encourages field unity by partnering with and building strong trusting relationships with the CEOs and senior leadership teams of member organizations including doctors, hospitals and/or other healthcare providers.
  • Consistently promotes the value of membership in NAACOS. Demonstrates and promotes NAACOS’s belief that value-based arrangements are superior in their positive impact on the cost and quality of patient care.
  • Ensures outstanding customer service to the membership and builds and maintains a “customer-centric” model of operation.
  • Leads the growth efforts to attract new members to NAACOS.
  • Develops and accomplishes the strategic plan initiatives to advance the NAACOS' mission while promoting the operational effectiveness, growth, and financial sustainability of the organization.
  • Drives a common agenda and assures consistent messaging across the organization. Oversees operations to ensure membership and governance excellence, employee engagement, and cost-effective management of resources.
  • Develops a methodical human talent strategy by helping to identify the next generation of organizational leaders and creating an environment of innovation and creativity.
  • Directly manages and empowers a team of executives who provide leadership and are responsible for ensuring organizational effectiveness according to NAACOS's mission, values, and annual strategic plan.
  • Champions and advocates the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion; takes action to increase diversity in the workplace.
  • Serves as an advocate for strong and productive partnerships with business, government, and communities and for the quality and safety initiatives of member organizations.
Policy Development
  • Establishes public and political credibility and influence for the NAACOS as its primary representative and spokesperson through written articles, educational conferences, and media appearances, as well as national legislative, policy and executive office meetings and formal functions.
  • Responds proactively to the complexities and challenges associated with the transformation of the industry to value-based care.
  • Communicates as necessary with the media and government to effectively present NAACOS and its position on priority healthcare issues. Serves as the voice of ACOs to CMS, the White House, and on Capitol Hill.
Research, Data Collection, and Analysis
  • Leads NAACOS efforts to collect and analyze data on ACOs and other value-based care entities, as well as industry trends, market opportunities and challenges.
  • Leads partnership with NAACOS research arm, the Institute for Accountable Care, including managing the contact between NAACOS and the Institute for conducting research, collecting data, and developing products to support data needs of ACOs and industry partners.

Professional Experience/Qualifications
Successful candidates for the President & CEO role will possess the following:
  • Ten plus years of experience in progressive leadership roles and intimate knowledge of the breadth and depth of healthcare and how components work together.
  • Exceptional leadership abilities, including a proven track record of influencing others to action through thought leadership, trust-based relationship building, active engagement, results oriented approach, and candid communication.
  • An ability to partner with a Board to build a strategic plan and operationalize the plan with clear milestones and accountabilities.
  • Exceptional knowledge of ACOs and the payment model shift to value-based care. Deep understanding of what is needed to drive performance in value- and risk-based contracts.
  • Experience in population health management and driving performance with value-based care models and reimbursement.
  • A strong advocate for change and someone passionate about proactively improving the future healthcare environment.
  • Strong leadership qualities: can "command the room" with gravitas, expert knowledge/ thought leadership, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • A contemporary view of healthcare governance and understanding of how to represent the interests of healthcare trustees while facilitating progressive thought leadership.
  • Perceived content expert within the field and a leader with respect to the political agenda.
  • Ability to build coalitions, including those with diverse constituencies, and develop appropriate action plans on critical issues confronting today’s healthcare leaders.
  • Impeccable communication skills with a unique ability to listen and ensure individuals feel they are heard. Able to distill complicated thoughts about the industry into a language people can understand.
  • Confidence in his or her ability to embrace controversial issues and the need for extreme agility in processing and responding to unpredictable situations.
  • An ability to make tough decisions and prioritize the organization’s focus and resources.
  • Strong executive presence that conveys confidence and approachability.
  • Relocation is not required but there is an expectation that the CEO will have a strong D.C. presence.
A bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is highly desirable.

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with the skills and experience of the selected candidate.


Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.