CMS Responds to ACO Criticisms


On May 17, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced three new initiatives designed to facilitate the development of accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The original ACO regulations published on April 7, 2011 [see our e-Brief] have been widely criticized as not reflecting realistic market conditions and not providing sufficient financial incentives for potential ACOs to participate in the program.

The three new initiatives include Development Learning Sessions, an Advanced Payment Initiative designed to encourage ACO participation, and a “Pioneer ACO Model” designed to attract participation by existing ACOs.

The Development Learning Sessions are simply a series of four learning sessions offered by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (“CMMI”) designed to provide detailed feedback and discussion opportunities for the executive leadership teams of existing and emerging ACOs. The first session will be conducted June 20–22, 2011, in Minneapolis, MN.

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