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ACO Timeline: Key Dates and Application Process

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as of July 1, 2012 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) began serving 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries in 40 States and Washington, D.C.

These 89 new ACOs have entered into agreements with CMS, taking responsibility for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through high-quality, well-coordinated care bringing the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 154, including the 32 ACOs participating in the Pioneer ACO Model by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced last December, and six Physician Group Practice Transition Demonstration organizations that started in January 2011. As a result, as of July 1, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives.

Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner indicated:

This new group of ACOs adds to a solid foundation. The Medicare ACO program opened for business in January, and already, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in these important initiatives.

Details on the timeline and application process are summarized below:

Application Cycle: Key Dates for Program Year 2013

Applications posted on CMS Web site Updated in July 2012
NOIs accepted Nov. 1, 2011 – June 29, 2012
CMS User ID forms accepted Nov. 9, 2011 – July 9, 2012
Applications accepted Aug. 1,2012 – Sept. 6, 2012
Application approval or denial decision Fall 2012
Reconsideration review deadline* Dec. 11, 2012

*  Date an organization must receive a favorable reconsideration review determination in order to qualify for the start date indicated on the application.

For complete details on the Medicare Shared Savings Program and associated timeline for applicants, click here.

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