New CMS ACO Rules Are Designed to Promote Adoption within Reform

October 24, 2011
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Posted in CMSHealthcare Policy & The MediaKnowledge & MedicinePharma & DevicesCMSHealthcare Policy & The MediaKnowledge & MedicinePharma & DevicesPolitics & The Law

New rules for accountability care organizations out today from CMS may please providers amid reports of inefficient care delivery models and quality. When the feds released initial ACO rules earlier this year, the process was met with major rounds of criticism with physicians barking the loudest. As a group, its top concern was the financial risk involved (lowered reimbursements amid higher penalties) in agreeing to participate.

Quality benchmarks in EHR adoption and clinical outcomes in certain key chronic medical diagnoses as part of the ACA-mandated rules have all but been retooled with the release of new ACO parameters.

The regulations reduced the number of quality measures by about half and increased the financial incentives for providers. The changes won preliminary praise from major trade groups and professional associations, which moved quickly to digest hundreds of pages of rules from multiple federal agencies, including the CMS, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department.

Enhanced opportunities in order to improve quality amid a decrease in the perceived risks of doing so. With this new credo in place, many initial hostilities toward the inclusion of ACOs within the scope of reform may be tempered just a bit. | LINK

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