Expanding the Options for Accountable Care Organizations

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<p>Health care providers are gearing up for the release this fall of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule on the Affordable Care Act's Medicare Shared Savings Program for accountable care organizations (ACOs). The program, scheduled to begin in January, is intended to encourage providers to work together to manage and coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries by allowing them to share in any savings they achieve. </p>
<p>In a new two-part <a href="/blog/2011/expanding-options-accountable-care-organizations-pioneer-model-part-i">blog post</a>, The Commonwealth Fund's Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman look at the Pioneer Model, a companion ACO program CMS designed for provider organizations experienced in providing coordinated care across settings. The Pioneer Model gives providers more flexibility as well as the opportunity to achieve greater financial rewards than the Shared Savings Program offers. </p>
<p>In today's blog post, Zezza and Guterman compare the determination of payments in the Pioneer Model with the Shared Savings Program. Tomorrow, the authors describe patient assignment, provider participation, the contract period, the governing board, and multipayer alignment. <br /></p>