Posted by: RedaChouffani
Accountable care organizations, ACO, ACO final rule, ACOs
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final ruling last week for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The proposed ruling was initially released in March and after public comment period, some significant changes were made and released last Thursday.
Within the 696 page document, there are sections that outline the measures on which reporting will be required. Currently the number of measures has been decreased from the original count of 65 down to 33.
In addition, HHS has also announced that it has reduced its requirements for the number of physicians required to use a certified EHR system. Now, only 50% of participating members will need to be meaningful users for ACO participation, welcome news by many groups still in the laggard adoption phase. There was also the announcement for a new program that will provide funding for care providers to hire staff and upgrade IT infrastructure with EHRs in order to support their participation in an ACO.
Several health care associations welcomed the news and noted that HHS seems to have taken into consideration much of the feedback from providers and health care professionals as they’ve taken steps toward the meaningful use journey but have yet to reach the pot of incentives gold.