The NextGen ACO: Another Round Opens

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced the results of its ‘continuous learning‘ commitment model wherein ‘field reports‘ including provider comments and open door inputs are materially incorporated into tweaks of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) as risk is progressively adopted by participating ACOs. This ‘new round’ iteration […]

TrumpCare: As the Puzzle Emerges…

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH As the Trump administration takes form via the nomination of Rep. Tom Price to ‘steward’ (or decimate) the massive bureaucracy of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with Seema Verma nominated as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administration (CMS) the structural touch-points to manifest the ‘repeal and replace‘ agenda […]

FLAACOs 3rd Annual Fall Conference: A Retrospective

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH This is the second year I’ve ventured to Orlando to cover the Florida Associations of ACOs (@FLAACOs) Annual gathering. According to the website, the FLAACOs mission is: …to provide members a vehicle to collaborate, ensuring that each healthcare organization grows and thrives. The Florida-based association aligns goals to shift physician incentives […]

ACO Winners and Losers: A Quick Take

by Ashish K. Jha Last week, CMS sent out press releases touting over $1 billion in savings from Accountable Care Organizations. Here’s the tweet from Andy Slavitt, the acting Administrator of CMS: Andy Slavitt ✔@ASlavitt NEW ACO RESULTS: physicians are changing care, w better results for patients & are saving money. Over $1B. https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2016-Press-releases-items/2016-08-25.html … 1:32 PM – […]

The Long and Winding Road to Healthcare Price Transparency

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH When Steven Brill published ‘Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us‘ in 2013 he brought national attention via a series of personal stories that served to reveal the complex dysfunction inherent in our healthcare delivery and financing system. A veritable ‘conundrum‘ created over the decades of layering managed care […]

Day One: You’re Covered!

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH August 1st, 2016 marked the first day that I’ve been covered by health insurance since leaving the W2 workforce in 2000 as Vice President of Payor and Provider Contracting at Wellspan Health Network a ‘Super PHO’ launched by Texas Health Resources, post combination of Presbyterian Healthcare System, Harris Methodist Health Services […]

Those Failing CO-OPs: Implications for the ACA and its ACO Workhorse

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH As the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans relative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues, and the tracking sentiment index waxes and wanes between ‘favorable’ and ‘unfavorable’ one front in particular seems to have a fair degree of utility with the narrative profferred by the ‘repeal and replace‘ crowd. […]

POTUS: The De Facto Health Wonk-in-Chief of the US?

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH   Love him or hate him President Barack Obama continues to demonstrate depth, insight, tenacity and a firm grip on the state of the U.S. Healthcare ecosystem dysfunction (and remedies) well beyond his formal training as a Constitutional scholar. Now as arguably one of the most legislatively accomplished President’s in […]

MACRA, MIPS and APMs: A Report from CAPG

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH So everyone is talking about value based healthcare. No longer is ‘business as usual‘ even an option on the table as the volume driven FFS zeitgeist continues to lose supporters in health policy circles while a growing body of clinical initiatives from ACOs to a range of variably structured and […]

Final Medicare Shared Savings Program Rule (CMS-1644-F)

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH Creating consistent high quality original content is hard. At ACO Watch, we’re not in the business of breaking news or high frequency posts to drive eyeballs and traffic to this blog so ‘the numbers’ that might attract advertising or sponsorship (there aren’t any). Instead we (mostly me) watch the developments […]