Tag Archives: Accountable Care Organizations

CMS Revises Expands ACO “Investment Model” Opportunities

As previously reported, CMS announced a Medicare Shared Savings Program/Accountable Care Organization (ACO) “Investment Model” last fall to better coordinate care in rural and underserved areas where inadequate access to capital could hinder infrastructure development needed for successful population care management. On June 25, 2015, CMS announced that it is modifying the eligibility criteria for … Continue Reading

CMS Adopts Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Regulations

On June 9, 2015, CMS published a final rule revising the regulations governing the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which is intended to encourage physicians, hospitals, and certain other types of providers and suppliers to form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to provide cost-effective, coordinated care to Medicare beneficiaries. According to CMS, the Shared Savings Program now … Continue Reading

OIG Releases FY 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update

The HHS OIG has updated its FY 2015 Work Plan to reflect new and/or completed items since release of its Work Plan in October 2014. Of note, the OIG has announced its plans to conduct several new Medicare reviews addressing: intensity-modulated radiation therapy; hospital preparedness and response to high-risk infectious diseases; access to DME in competitive … Continue Reading

Medicare Shared Savings Program Applications for January 1, 2016 Start Date

CMS is proceeding with the application process for the Medicare Shared Savings Program for the January 1, 2016 program start date. Applicants interested in participating must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by May 29, 2015, and complete the application by July 31, 2015.  A CMS call regarding the Shared Savings Program application review process is … Continue Reading

CMS Touts Pioneer ACO Model Savings and Potential Expansion

On May 4, 2015, CMS announced that the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model generated $384 million in savings to Medicare over two years. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, which was authorized by the ACA, health care organizations and providers with experience coordinating care across settings may share in Medicare savings generated if they meet … Continue Reading

CMS Calls on Next Generation ACO Model

CMS is hosting a series of calls to discuss its new “Next Generation” ACO Model, which is intended to promote Medicare quality improvement and care coordination. The following upcoming calls are scheduled: • March 31, 2015 — Focusing on financial methodology and related issues; • April 7, 2015 – Focusing on benefit enhancements and beneficiary care … Continue Reading

CMS Invites Stakeholders to Join “Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network” to Promote Alternative Payment Models

As previously reported, CMS has established a public-private partnership, the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, to support HHS’s goal of moving Medicare and the broader health industry from a FFS model towards alternative payment models that emphasize value. CMS is now inviting payers, providers, employers, purchasers, state partners, consumer groups, individual consumers, and … Continue Reading

CMS Announces New “Next Generation” ACO Model; Schedules 3/17 Call

On March 10, 2015, CMS announced the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, its latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) innovation initiative intended to promote Medicare quality improvement and care coordination. The Next Generation ACO Model differs from the existing Medicare Shared Savings Program and Pioneer ACO models in several ways. For instance, the Next … Continue Reading

CMS Posts Deadlines for 2016 Medicare Shared Savings Program Application Cycle; Schedules Informational Calls

CMS is gearing up for the program year 2016 Medicare Shared Savings Program, under which physicians, hospitals, and certain other types of providers and suppliers may form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to provide cost-effective, coordinated care to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. CMS has posted the deadlines for applying to the program for 2016 (the notice of … Continue Reading

FTC/DOJ Workshop on Health Care Competition (Feb. 24).

On February 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division will hold a public workshop on health care provider organization and payment model developments that may affect competition in the provision of health care services. Topics for discussion include: accountable care organizations; alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payment models; trends in … Continue Reading

HHS Sets Ambitious Goals for Medicare Quality/Value-Based Purchasing, Alternative Payment Models

Today HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced ambitious plans to move from “volume to value in Medicare payments” by accelerating the share of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payments that are tied to quality and value and reimbursed through alternative payment models. The first goal in the initiative is for 30% of Medicare provider payments to be in … Continue Reading

MedPAC Voices Concerns about Growing Volume, Burden of Medicare Quality Measures

In December 2014, CMS released a 329-page list of quality measures under consideration for the Medicare program. In a January 13, 2015 comment letter, MedPAC observes that volume of measures under consideration “reinforces our concerns that Medicare’s provider-level measurement activities are accelerating without regard to the costs or benefits of an ever-increasing number of measures.” MedPAC suggests that … Continue Reading

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policies (Jan. 15-16)

On January 15-16, 2015, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is meeting to discuss a number of Medicare topics, including, among others: post-acute care trends; payment updates for a number of provider types; relative costs of Medicare Advantage, accountable care organizations, and fee-for-service Medicare; hospital short stay policy; and quality measurement. … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Payment Regulations

On December 8, 2014, CMS published a proposed rule that would revise the regulations governing the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which is intended to encourage physicians, hospitals, and certain other types of providers and suppliers to form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to provide cost-effective, coordinated care to Medicare beneficiaries. The Shared Savings Program now includes … Continue Reading

CMS Announces ACO “Investment Model” Initiative to Support Care Coordination Nationwide

CMS has announced a new Accountable Care Organization “Investment Model” that was developed in response to concerns that some providers lack adequate access to the capital needed to invest in infrastructure necessary to successfully implement population care management. CMS will provide as much as $114 million in upfront investments to up to 75 ACOs across … Continue Reading

OIG and CMS Extend Fraud/Abuse Waivers for Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACOs; Invite Feedback on Waiver Policy

Today the OIG and CMS published a joint notice continuing the effectiveness of fraud and abuse law waivers granted in 2011 in connection with the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which is intended to encourage physicians, hospitals, and certain other types of providers and suppliers to form accountable care organizations (ACOs).  By way of background, in … Continue Reading

CMS Planning Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Rules

Yesterday CMS submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed rule to make changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, including provisions relating to Medicare payments to providers participating in ACOs. These changes would apply to existing ACOs and approved ACO applicants participating in the program beginning January 1, 2016. … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues Medicare Delivery Reform Recommendations

On June 13, 2014, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2014 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. Among other things, MedPAC addresses ways to align Medicare fee-for-service (FFS), Medicare Advantage, and accountable care organization policies on payment, risk adjustment, and quality measurement. MedPAC also discusses various … Continue Reading

HHS Launches Second Round of State Innovation Models Initiative

On May 22, 2014, CMS announced the second round of funding under the State Innovation Models Initiative. This initiative was announced in 2013 to support state design and testing of multi-payer payment and delivery models — such as accountable care organizations, accountable care communities, patient centered medical homes and bundled payments — intended to generate … Continue Reading

Highlights from Reed Smith’s Post-Acute Care Conference

In early April, Reed Smith hosted an enlightening conference entitled "Reed Smith 2014 Washington Health Care Conference: Focus on Post-Acute Care" in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together a panel of experts to discuss episodic care, bundling models, and alternative payment and delivery systems, as well as other speakers to present from the perspective of investors and Capitol Hill. The conference was capped with a stimulating keynote address from American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Dr. Norman Ornstein on the current polarized nature of American politics, particularly in regards to national health policy.… Continue Reading

CMS Call: Applying for the 2015 Medicare Shared Savings Program (April 8)

 On April 8, 2014, CMS is hosting a call on how to prepare for the Medicare Shared Savings Program application process for the January 1, 2015 start date. Among other things, the call will cover accountable care organization (ACO) structure and governance, application key dates, and the Notice of Intent to Apply submission process.… Continue Reading

CMS Requests Feedback on ACO Initiatives

CMS is inviting public input on “the evolution of Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiatives” at CMS, including feedback on a second round of applications for the current Pioneer ACO Model along with new ACO models that encourage greater care integration and financial accountability. Responses should be submitted by March 1, 2014.… Continue Reading

CMS Letter to States on Quality Considerations for Medicaid and CHIP Integrated Care Models

CMS has posted a November 22, 2013 letter to state health officials on “Quality Considerations for Medicaid and CHIP Programs,” the fourth in a series of guidance documents intended to assist states with designing and implementing integrated care models, such as medical/health homes, accountable care organizations, and managed care. The latest letter provides a framework … Continue Reading
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