One of the most used three letter acronym in health care today is ACO – Accountable Care Organization. Today, the proposed rule was issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposed rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations will be read by many, and the discussions and debates will increase. This is all healthy, as the comment begins today and remains open for the next 60 days.
An important companion to the ACO proposed rule is the perspective Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., the administrator of CMS, published in The New England Journal of Medicine: Launching Accountable Care Organizations — The Proposed Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The last paragraph sets the tone:
“Whatever form ACOs eventually take, one thing is certain: the era of fragmented care delivery should draw to a close. Too many Medicare beneficiaries — like many other patients — have suffered at the hands of wasteful, ineffective, and poorly coordinated systems of care, with consequent costs that are proving unsustainable. CMS believes that with enhanced cooperation among beneficiaries, hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers, ACOs will be an important new tool for giving Medicare beneficiaries the affordable, high-quality care they want, need, and deserve.”
Included in the article is a summary of the Proposed Measures for ACO Quality-Performance Standards. This delivers a good overview.
Again, much more information will begin pouring into the health care community over the next few days and weeks. Stay tuned and engaged.
Two other background articles which may be helpful are:
- Kaiser Health News: FAQ On ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained
- Corepoint Health: Managed Care or Community Hub of Wellness? Differing perspectives on ACOs
The proposed rule for “Medicare Program and Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations” can he found here.
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