Friday, June 3, 2011

AMA Submits Comments on Accountable Care Organizations

The American Medical Association (AMA) today submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on their proposed rule on Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The AMA supports developing and testing ACOs as one of an array of payment and delivery innovations, but it has urged CMS to make significant changes to the proposed rule to allow all interested physicians to lead and participate.
  “A well-developed ACO model has the potential to improve care coordination and quality while promoting cost savings, and to help ensure success the AMA has asked CMS to make numerous revisions and to issue an interim final rule that allows the flexibility to adapt as needed,” said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., in a statement.
  The AMA offered constructive changes to the proposed payment and risk structure of ACOs to encourage participation by physicians in all practice sizes, including providing a payment option that does not require shared loss and allowing groups to receive a percentage of all savings achieved. “Forming an ACO requires significant resources for a physician practice, and CMS must allow those who take this risk to fully share in the benefits from day one,” Wilson said.
  The AMA House of Delegates last year approved its own principles for ACOs, and the subject will be a major focus at this month’s policymaking meeting in Chicago. For more information, see Psychiatric News,


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