This is the first in our client advisory series on the recent regulatory activities concerning accountable care organizations ("ACOs"). The federal antitrust agencies issued the final statement of their antitrust enforcement policy regarding Accountable Care Organizations participating in Medicare’s Shared Savings Program on October 20, 2011.
The final policy statement, issued on the same day the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued its final ACO regulations, confirms the federal antitrust enforcement agencies will apply the so-called “rule of reason” to combinations of providers meeting CMS eligibility criteria for ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program rather than the considerably more harsh “per se” rule of illegality reserved for provider collaborations that do not involve significant financial or clinical integration.
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