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ACO Final Rule: A Round Up of Early Opinion and ‘Go To’ Resources

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Like some of you, I woke up the morning of Friday, October 21st, 2011 to a literal ‘blitzkrieg’ of tweets flooding two TweetDeck columns tagged ‘ACOchat’ and ‘ACO’. Everyone it seems has a dog in the hunt to make known their standing or interest in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), the Medicare Shared Savings Program and related stuff, i.e., the Pioneer Program, Advanced Payment Model, etc.

Shortly after the final rule was published in the Federal Register, CMS conducted a ‘background’ stakeholder conference call. If you missed, you can listen via ACO Watch: A Mid-Week Review re-broadcast (note: we had some audio glitches, but got the entire call plus questions in).

Meanwhile for a list of some notable write ups and contributions, checkout:

As always first out of the box via @KHNewsHHS Releases Final Regulations for ACOs.

As well as the excellent contextual and opinion piece by Dr. Don Berwick in the New England Journal of Medicine, ‘Making Good on ACO’s Promise – The Final Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program‘.

My friend Michael L. Millenson and occasional guest poster on this blog chimes in with an insightful and witty Forbes piece titled: CMS Wants Docs to Ante Up to ACO Poker Game.

Meanwhile, the American Medical Association, one of several professional medical associations to back the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act (bravo!), opines the net gain for docs via: Final ACO Rule Offers Promise to Improve Care Delivery, and CMS spotlights physician-friendly changes in final ACO rule.

The health plan and payor community checks in with AHIP’s, their trade association, posting: AHIP Statement on ACO Regulation.

While Esptein Becker’s Douglas A. Hastings posted on Health Affairs BlogValue-Based Payment, Accountable Care, and the ACO Final Rule: Are We Making Progress?

Also from the legal domain, McDermott Will Emery published: Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rules  complete with comments and historical markup of key provisions in the PPACA the ACO final rule implements.

Of course the reference final rule summary from CMS is here, as well as the ‘fact sheets‘ previously posted to this blog, here.

From the ‘connect the dots’ health IT side of the conversation, i.e., hey you want an ACO…..gotta have the infrastructure, check out HealthData Management: ‘ACO Barriers‘ by Gary Baldwin.

And one of my favorites is from CMS in the Appendix titled: Proposed Rule versus Final Rule for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) In the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

There is more to come as we’re building the ‘go to’ resource portal for everything ACO.

p.s. Thursday, October 27th at 1PM Eastern there’s a FREE webinar that we’ll be following and tweeting from organized by @HCPlive and featuring fellow healthtweep David Harlow, aka @healthblawg, titled: Accountable Care Organizations, Bundled Payments, and the Future of Health Care. 

You can register here.

More later!

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