Providers request significant changes to ACOs prior to implementation

Share this article:
Automatic 2% Medicare cuts begin
Automatic 2% Medicare cuts begin

As the comment period on the accountable care organizations proposed federal rule approaches its end, provider groups and pilot programs are asking for numerous changes, including reducing quality improvement measures.

Comments on ACOs are due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by Monday. The American Hospital Association said Wednesday that CMS should fix the risk-versus-reward equation. In a 24-page letter, the AHA laid out several items it would like to be reconsidered. Among them are allowing for flexibility about starting in 2012; letting ACOs add participants more frequently; adopting a smaller number of quality improvement measures; and changing hospital readmission measures to be more specific to heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

In other ACO news, a new report says one five-year model did not save as much money as expected. In 2005, 10 health systems across the United States were enrolled in a pilot program to test whether they could slow Medicare spending by treating elderly patients more efficiently while offering high-quality care, according to The Washington Post. If they did, they were rewarded with financial bonuses. At the end of the program in 2010, only four systems slowed spending enough to earn bonuses. The basics of the program are similar to the government's ACO model, the Post reported.
Share this article:

More in News

Bill addressing admission status receives praise

A bill that would require hospitals to give patients a formal notice of their admission status has received strong support from healthcare associations.

Increased 'bed taxes' on nursing facilities warrants stricter federal oversight, report states

States have been increasingly taxing skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare providers to fund Medicaid in recent years, and federal authorities should look more closely at this trend, according to a government report released Tuesday.

Last chance: Tech Awards deadline arrives

Last chance: Tech Awards deadline arrives

There are hours left for innovative long-term care providers to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted until the stroke of midnight tonight.