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Medicare Program; Request for Information Regarding Accountable Care Organizations and the Medicare Shared Saving Program

Donald M. Berwick

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

This document is a request for comments regarding certain aspects of the policies and standards that will apply to accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare program under section 3021 or 3022 of the Affordable Care Act.

Comment Date: To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. on December 3, 2010

Background

The Affordable Care Act seeks to improve the quality of health care services and to lower health care costs by encouraging providers to create integrated health care delivery systems. These integrated systems will test new reimbursement methods intended to create incentives for health care providers to enhance health care quality and lower costs. One important delivery system reform is the Medicare Shared Savings Program under section 3022 of the Affordable Care Act, which promotes the formation and operation of accountable care organizations (ACOs). Under this provision, “groups of providers * * * meeting the criteria specified by the Secretary may work together to manage and coordinate care for Medicare * * * beneficiaries through an [ACO].” An ACO may receive payments for shared savings if the ACO meets certain quality performance standards and cost savings requirements established by the Secretary. We are developing rulemaking for the establishment of the Shared Savings Program under section 3022 of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act establishes a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within CMS, which is authorized to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care. We are considering testing innovative payment and delivery system models that complement the Shared Savings Program in the CMMI. In both of these efforts, we are seeking to advance ACO structures that are organized in ways that are patient-centered and foster participation of physicians and other clinicians who are in solo or small practices.Show citation box

We have already conducted substantial outreach and…

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