CMS announces new Medicare ACO model

AHA News Now

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced the availability of a new model for Accountable Care Organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The MSSP creates financial incentives for groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to come together as ACOs to coordinate care for patients and lower growth in health care costs while meeting performance standards. According to CMS, the new ACO Investment Model is a pre-paid shared savings model that builds on experience with the Advance Payment Model to encourage new ACOs to form in rural and underserved areas, and current MSSP ACOs to transition to arrangements with greater financial risk. To participate, existing ACOs can only include a hospital if the hospital has 100 or fewer beds or is a critical access hospital. Eligibility is targeted to ACOs that joined the MSSP in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and to new ACOs joining the Shared Savings Program in 2016. The application deadline for organizations that started the program in 2012 or 2013 will be Dec. 1, 2014. CMS expects applications to be available in summer 2015 for ACOs that started in the program in 2014 or will start in 2016. For more on the new model, see the CMS factsheet.

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