The Next Generation ACO: Accelerating the Transformation from Volume to Value

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH  You may have heard the expression: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’  Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr But what does this really mean? One interpretation is ‘change is the only constant‘ or alternatively not much new here – just old ideas rediscovered? Yet if you frame the assertion to measure […]

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 […]

Wal*Mart: RFI ‘Overwritten and Incorrect’

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH Whoa! Not 24 hours after the Request for Information (RFI) issued by WalMart Health and Wellness directed to it’s ‘strategic partner’ downline hit the street, I mean was leaked to the press, WalMart’s senior management felt compelled to promptly backdown from it’s rational, comprehensive, timely and sensible approach to make […]

#occupyhealthcare: Hype or Hope?

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH Sunday, November 6th 2011 may mark a tipping point in the weak-tied and ‘talk is cheap‘ happy talk often characteristic of episodic and even planned healthcare social media conversations. While a dedicated and passionate community mostly focused on learning, defining, sharing best practices and what constitutes the ‘meaningful use’ of […]

Dr. Don Berwick on ACO’s: From Volume to Value

By Donald Berwick, MD Editors Note: Thanks to a tweet today via @AxSys_Health CMS Administrator Don Berwick, M.D., explains ACO’s in plain language. Hi, I’m Don Berwick, CMS administrator. Today’s a kind of red letter day, October 20th 2011. That’s the day in which we launch the Accountable Care Organization final rule and I just […]

Proposed v. Final ACO Rule

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH Deep in the 690+ pages of the document filed with the OFR, is a nifty little matrix that compares key provisions of the ‘notice of proposed rule making’ to the final rule which theoretically incorporated the best and brightest suggestions pro-offered in 1,300+ comments supplied to CMS. That pre/post matrix […]

ACOs: It’s Not Just About Medicare [shared savings]

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH A recent report attached to a Tweet posted by Brian Ahier caught my attention in the blitzkreig of ACOs postings this past week.  @ahier Building #ACO‘s & OUtcome Based Contracting in the Commercial Market The complete title of the attached report is ‘Building ACOs and Outcome Based Contracting in the Commercial Market: […]

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 […]

HHS/CMS ‘Fact Sheets’ Per PR Issued Today on

EDITOR’S NOTE! Re: The press release ‘fact sheet’ for the ACO and Medicare Shared Savings Programs provisions as codified in today’s FINAL RULE, is published in it’s entirety below: People with Medicare will be able to benefit from a new program designed to encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other care providers to coordinate […]

They’re Here!!

CMS releases final rule today on ACO and Medicare Shared Services Program! For complete text of final rule submitted to the Office of the Feferal Registrer today, click here. More details to follow including a TweetChat via hashtag #ACOchat. There will be a conference call and Press conference today with Dr. Don Berwick et al […]