AHCA supports ACOs, opposes block grants

Nursing homes are “perfect partners” for accountable care organizations and don’t want to be left behind in the changing healthcare landscape, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said recently.

The current healthcare system does not have enough incentives to keep people from long hospital stays or return visits to facilities, he said during a media meeting.

“One of the understated benefits of ACOs is the potential savings in the changing of the reimbursement systems. We want to take the incentives out of treating people longer,” he explained.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its ACO guidelines March 31. They are designed around healthcare providers banding together to provide care to 5,000 or more beneficiaries. The program allows an ACO to partake in any shared savings resulting from high-quality efficient treatment.

Whether or not ACOs gain traction, there’s “a logic to episodic bundled payments,” Parkinson said, whereas Medicaid block grants could be “very, very bad.”