Final ACO rule offers additional incentives

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AHCA supports ACOs, opposes block grants
AHCA supports ACOs, opposes block grants
The final rule on Accountable Care Organizations provides more flexibility for eligible providers and increases the amount of possible bonuses.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which released the rule in October, also decreased the number of quality measures from 65 in five domains to 33 in four domains.

Although the rule's full implications were not known, providers' responses reflected their desire for long-term care to be active participants in this looming structure.

“We certainly want to ensure skilled nursing and post-acute facilities are part of the cost-saving model,” said American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson. He added that association officials were examining the rule's details.

ACOs are designed to boost cooperation among healthcare providers by letting them share savings resulting from higher-quality, lower-cost care.

The Obama administration projects ACOs will save the government up to $940 million between 2012 and 2015.