Questions about ACOs linger among healthcare providers, survey finds

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Questions about ACOs linger among healthcare providers, survey finds
Questions about ACOs linger among healthcare providers, survey finds
As the Nov. 4 deadline for healthcare providers to get into the Bundled Payment initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid approaches, healthcare providers are still struggling to figure out new approaches to reimbursement.

At a session of the 62nd American Health Care Association last week titled “The New Era of Healthcare Reform,” organizers had to turn away participants eager to learn about the bundled payment initiative models, accountable care organizations and capitation expansion.

That reflects what a new survey of 200 provider organizations found —  only 15% of respondents count themselves as very familiar with ACOs. Sixty-one percent said they are somewhat familiar, while 48% reported that they weren't sure how an ACO would affect their organization, according to the survey, which was conducted by the consulting firm Beacon Partners. While the survey targeted hospitals and acute-care providers, the responses about the barriers to ACO development are similar to those in long-term care: uncertainty regarding how ACOs are structured, high start-up costs and regulatory concerns.

In other ACO news, CMS announced that, effective Oct. 19, it is making available a database containing the health information of Medicare beneficiaries who receive treatment with providers participating in an ACO.

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