Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Accountable Care Organization models will improve patient care, could save Medicare up to $430 million

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced three Affordable Care Act initiatives designed to help put doctors, hospitals and other health care providers on the path to becoming Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and improve health care for Americans with Medicare.

First, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) is requesting applications for a new Pioneer ACO Model, which provides a faster path for mature ACOs that have already begun coordinating care for patients and are ready to move forward.

Second, the Innovation Center is seeking comment on the idea of an Advance Payment Initiative that give certain ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program access to their shared savings up front, helping them make the infrastructure and staff investments crucial to successfully coordinating and improving care for patients.

Finally, providers interested in learning more about how to coordinate patient care through ACOs can attend free new Accelerated Development Learning Sessions. The Accelerated Development Learning Sessions will teach providers interested in becoming ACOs what steps they can take to improve care delivery and how to develop an action plan for moving toward providing better coordinated care.

Together with the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the initiatives announced today give providers a broad range of options and support that reflect the varying needs of providers in embarking on delivery system reforms.

CMS issued a proposed rule to implement the Medicare Shared Savings Program in March 2011 and is continuing to encourage and accept comments from providers and the public that will help strengthen the final rule.

These initiatives are part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration, made possible by the Affordable Care Act, to improve care and lower costs. For more information about all of these initiatives, visit the Innovation Center website.

To read the CMS Press release issued today (5/17) click here: http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press_releases.asp

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