This month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) regarding an update to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (the “Program”). The Final Rule will seek to enhance primary care services, reduce administrative burdens, and provide flexibility in the Program in order to maintain and enhance participation in the Program.
The Program was created in part to encourage the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”), where health care providers and suppliers would work collectively to reduce costs while maintaining high quality care. Any savings accrued as a result of the increased efficiency would be shared by the participants of the ACO.
Early results show an increased quality of care for the 7 million beneficiaries collectively served by the ACOs, with more than 400 ACOs participating in the Program. CMS Acting Administrator, Andy Slavitt, stated in a press release: “Accountable Care Organizations have shown early but exciting progress in improving quality of care, while providing more patient-centered care at a lower cost. The ACO rules today strengthen our ability to reward better care and lay the groundwork for more providers to become successful ACOs.” Continue Reading