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Spotlight on ACOs

May 01, 2013 | Daily News

Yet another bipartisan group, Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, suggests that Congress build on accountable care organizations (ACOs) by transitioning fee-for-service Medicare to what it calls Medicare Comprehensive Care (MCC) organizations in which seniors would enroll and share in savings, a proposal resembling the Medicare Networks that the Bipartisan Policy Center recommended last week.

April 24, 2013 | Daily News

CMS has rejected Pioneer ACOs' demands for a delay in the Pioneer demonstration's pay-for-performance phase but has agreed to speed up integration of real-time data into the quality metrics on which performance is based and soon will update those metrics in a rulemaking that will extend to all accountable care organizations, the agency states in an April 23 letter obtained by Inside Health Policy.

April 18, 2013 | Daily News

A bipartisan think tank founded by former Republican and Democratic congressional leaders issued a long-promised health care overhaul framework that offers a new twist on accountable care organizations by proposing Medicare Networks that, unlike ACOs, would discount premiums for seniors who choose the networks.

April 12, 2013 | Daily News

CMS should consider letting seniors share in savings from accountable care organizations to shield ACOs from the potential backlash that HMOs experienced in the 1990s, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Chair Glenn Hackbarth said at the group's meeting this month.

April 11, 2013 | Daily News

ACOs might be a spring board to Medicare Advantage and other capitated-pay models, according to some MedPAC commissioners and accountable care organization representatives.

April 03, 2013 | Daily News

Accountable Care Organizations are locating primarily where Medicare Advantage is strong, according to Congress' Medicare advisers, who on Thursday (April 4) will review research on the some 250 ACOs, but there are some exceptions that could be interesting, according to a consultant.

March 26, 2013 | Daily News

If biopharmaceutical and medical device makers wish to avoid Medicare spending cuts, they should push for ACO performance measures that pay for results, rather than relying on contracts that pay accountable care organizations (ACO) rebates for using more of their products, former CMS Administrator Mark McClellan said. McClellan, who was also FDA commissioner under President George W. Bush, also said ACOs could be the future of personalizing medicine.

March 23, 2013 | Daily News

CMS will give Pioneer ACOs an extra month to decide whether to remain in the high-profile health reform demonstration, and in the meantime the agency's innovation center is forming a group to deal with the quality metrics over which the accountable care organizations threatened to leave, although there is a good chance that some will still decide the demo is not a good fit for their organizations, sources say.

March 21, 2013 | Daily News

Congress should more aggressively change Medicare to let seniors choose alternatives to traditional Medicare, including medical homes, Medicare Advantage and accountable care organizations, and lawmakers should replace the physician pay formula with fixed rates the next two years, the bipartisan Partnership for the Future of Medicare recommends.

March 19, 2013 | Daily News

BOSTON -- Former CMS Administrator Donald Berwick says that the $1 billion Congress allocated to federal agencies for implementation of the Affordable Care Act is woefully inadequate and compared the funding level to attempting to travel to the moon with only a quarter of the money to build a rocket.

March 13, 2013 | Daily News

CMS is giving dialysis centers more time to apply for the agency's newly announced Medicare's kidney-care ACO demonstration, according to an agency update that cites a high level of interest from stakeholders as well as calls for more time to prepare applications.

March 08, 2013 | Daily News

Pioneer ACOs urged CMS to make changes to quality metrics prior to sending a letter threatening to drop out of the accountable care organization demonstration over those metrics, an earlier letter they sent to CMS reveals.

March 05, 2013 | Daily News

CMS plans to meet this month with Pioneer ACOs threatening to drop out of the high-profile demonstration to discuss their demands that the agency delay the requirement that they meet quality measures, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told Inside Health Policy Tuesday (March 5).

March 01, 2013 | Daily News

One of CMS' highest profile health care delivery reform initiatives is on rocky ground as most of the Pioneer ACOs are threatening to drop out of the demonstration if CMS makes them start meeting quality measures instead of merely requiring that they report the measures, according to a letter obtained by Inside Health Policy.

February 26, 2013 | Daily News

The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project is floating 15 proposals to reduce the federal budget deficit that include reforming Medicare cost-sharing, limiting the use of supplemental insurance and accelerating Medicare bundled payments.

February 22, 2013 | Daily News

CMS has awarded six states -- Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont -- over $250 million in innovation grants to implement a wide range of state-wide, multi-payer delivery system projects that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says let states take delivery reforms to the next level through coordination among private and public payers.

February 16, 2013 | Daily News

Kidney care provider DaVita told investors it may not participate in the kidney care accountable care organization demonstrations announced by CMS earlier this month, raising concerns that CMS' plan penalizes large organizations and those that have achieved savings in the past.

February 13, 2013 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Medicare Director Jonathan Blum told stakeholders this week that the success of delivery system reforms are responsible for the recent slowdown in the growth of health care spending -- though the spending is often credited to the economy.

February 05, 2013 | Daily News

In a break from its traditional policy requiring primary care physicians to lead ACOs, CMS is testing a new way of paying for dialysis in a demonstration that creates kidney care accountable care organizations that are responsible for care offered to a group of matched beneficiaries, not only dialysis care or care specifically related to a beneficiary’s kidney failure.

January 10, 2013 | Daily News

As accountable care organizations catch on, they could save up to $940 million over four years, CMS said Thursday (Jan. 10) as it announced 106 new ACOs, bringing to about 250 the number of ACOs formed since passage of the health reform law, which applied the ACO concept to Medicare.

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