Final Regulations for Accountable Care Organizations Give Providers More Flexibility

eAlert 81fa076f-4d26-4650-ba1f-8d52192fe0aa

The highly anticipated final regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs) were released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Affordable Care Act's new ACO program is intended to promote better management and coordination of care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries by enabling providers to share in any savings they achieve. <br /><br />In a <a href="/blog/2011/accountable-care-organization-final-regulations-give-health-care-providers-more">new post</a> on The Commonwealth Fund Blog, Mark Zezza and Stuart Guterman note the final regulations address many of the concerns that were raised by health care providers after the previously proposed rule was released earlier this year. The rule, they say, should encourage hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers to join together to provide coordinated care that yields better outcomes for patients and leads to savings for taxpayers and beneficiaries. <br /><br />Zezza and Guterman outline the key changes to the regulations, such as new options with lower financial risks for providers, the ability to obtain savings earlier, and fewer quality measures to report. In addition, Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural health clinics can now participate. To learn more about the rule and potential savings for providers and taxpayers, visit <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=0B67ACA7A5CB453CB876F3DB59E19448&_z=z">The Commonwealth Fund Blog</a>. <br />