Posted by: RedaChouffani
ACOs, CCHIT, CMS
Several organizations have taken steps in response to the increased interest in ACOs and the new payment models encouraged by HHS. Independent physicians have been evaluating their options to either join a hospital sponsored ACO or an alternative option. This decision will be a significant component of organizational goals.
There are clear signs that ACOs are not going anywhere, despite continued questions about whether they will be as widely adopted as predicted.
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced in December 2012 that it will develop an IT framework for ACOs. Their goal is to provide testing and certification around the necessary IT infrastructure components. The ruling from CCHIT provides a framework and requirements around eligibility, legality, leadership and management structure, required processes, patient population size, and some of the data sharing requirements. CCHIT will focus on the technology aspect of the requirements in detail. Systems that will provide reporting on high-risk patients, as well as capabilities to share and collaborate on the care of individuals were two areas CCHIT included as necessary for systems to engage patients.
CCHIT has also announced the re-appointment of Chairwoman Karen Bell, M.D. as part of this initiative. She will lead the advisory panel which will develop the ACO framework.
The Kelsey-Seybold Clinic was named the first organization to be officially accredited as an accountable care organization in the U.S., near the end of 2012. Many organizations curious about the ACO route will look to get more details and feedback in terms of the challenges and opportunities that this Texas-based facility will encounter.