Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick have unveiled the long-awaited federal rule on accountable care organizations.
A fact sheet from the CMS Office of Media Affairs detaling ACO specifics explains that "ACOs create incentives for health care providers to work together to treat an individual patient across care settings – including doctor's offices, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. The Medicare Shared Savings Program will reward ACOs that lower growth in health care costs while meeting performance standards on quality of care and putting patients first. Patient and provider participation in an ACO is purely voluntary."
See the Kaiser Health News story: HHS Says ACOs Could Save Medicare Up To $960 Million Over 3 Years
See the Kaiser Health News FAQ: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained
Also see Kaiser Health News' Jordan Rau talk about the proposed rule: Video: Understanding The New HHS ACO Rule
Here are some other resources from the Department of Health and Human Services on the proposed ACO regulation: