Keeping an Eye Out for Accountable Care Organizations

One of today’s emerging hot topics is the concept of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the federal government is developing regulations that will empower ACOs to support patients who are enrolled in the Medicare Program pursuant to Section 3022 of PPACA. 

ACOs are intended to deliver quality health care services more efficiently and improve the patient experience through a Medicare “shared savings program.”  The buzz about ACOs is significant in many circles, and several pilot programs have been established, even though the business model has not been fully identified.   

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is scheduled to release the regulations about ACOs in mid-January 2011, and will detail how ACOs can help reduce costs and share in savings generated by their interventions.