Tag Archives: Accountable Care Organizations

CMS Proposes Three New “Episode Payment Models” for Cardiac Care, Hip/Femur Fracture Cases, Plus Changes to CJR Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced proposals for three new “episode payment models” that, like the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, would mandate provider participation in selected geographic areas. The episodes included in these payment models would address care for heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft, and surgical hip/femur … Continue Reading

CMS Unveils New Mandatory Medicare Bundled Payment Models for Cardiac & Hip Fracture Cases, Plus Proposed Refinements to CJR Program

On July 25, 2016, CMS announced ambitious, multi-pronged plans to expand mandatory Medicare coordinated care/bundled payment programs, promote the use of cardiac rehabilitation services, refine current Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR) rules, and integrate bundled payment programs into the upcoming Medicare physician quality/payment framework. The proposed “Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Model” … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Benchmark Rebasing Rules

CMS has published a final rule that revises the methodology CMS uses to measure the performance of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. According to CMS, the changes are intended to encourage participation in the MSSP, under which more than 430 ACOs in 49 states and the District of Columbia currently … Continue Reading

CMS Schedules Calls on Medicare ACO Application Process (April 5 and 19)

CMS is holding two calls in April on the Medicare Shared Savings Program/Accountable Care Organization application process. The first call, scheduled for April 5, will focus on preparing for the Shared Savings Program application process for the January 1, 2017 program start date. The second call, to be held on April 19, will provide tips … Continue Reading

CMS Listening Session on Proposed Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program Rules (March 3)

On March 3, CMS is hosting a “listening session” to receive feedback on proposed changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program benchmarking methodology published on February 3, 2016. In particular, CMS invites comments on provisions addressing: Incorporation of regional fee-for-service expenditures into the methodology for resetting accountable care organizations’ (ACO) historical benchmark; Adjustments to an … Continue Reading

Extensive Medicare & Medicaid Funding and Program Integrity Provisions in Obama’s Released FY 2017 Budget Proposal

On February 9, 2016, the Obama Administration released its proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, which contains significant Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and program integrity legislative proposals – including $419 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years. These proposed policy changes would require action by Congress, and Republican Congressional leaders have already voiced general opposition … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Benchmark Rebasing Rules

On February 3, 2016, CMS published a proposed rule that would revise the methodology CMS uses to measure the performance of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) in order to encourage participation in the program.  In particular, the proposed rule would modify the methodology CMS uses to reset … Continue Reading

Senate Passes Rural ACO Legislation

On December 17, 2015, the Senate approved S. 2261, the Rural ACO Provider Equity Act of 2015. This legislation would modify how beneficiaries are assigned under the Medicare shared savings program by considering services furnished by federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. The policy would apply to performance years beginning on or after … Continue Reading

CMS/OIG Finalize Fraud Authority Waivers for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have finalized a rule designed to “remove legal and regulatory barriers that can impede care coordination in furtherance of the Shared Savings Program” and “reduce burden on ACOs, ACO participants, and ACO providers/suppliers.”  Specifically, the rule allows ACOs, ACO participants, … Continue Reading

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
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