Some in health industry raising concerns about Accountable Care Organizations

CQ HealthBeat: "The medical device industry told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that it's concerned about whether accountable care organizations could give providers financial incentives to hold back on needed patient care, particularly on technology. Meanwhile, insurance plan executives warned CMS officials that the ACOs could give hospitals and doctors new bargaining leverage in negotiations with insurers. Both outlined their concerns in letters sent to CMS late Friday. … CMS officials in charge of writing the rules for the new systems are asking groups to offer input into how they should be structured" (Adams, 12/6).

The Hill Healthwatch: "The Medicare payment advisory panel is warning that accountable care organizations (ACOs), boosted by the new healthcare reform law, might face public backlash similar to what managed care organizations experienced in the 1990s. The reform law provides incentives to ACOs — groups of providers and hospitals that coordinate efficient and quality care to a certain set of Medicare patients. … However, prior history shows that ... some doctors who opposed the organizations helped stoke patients' fears, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) wrote in a letter to the Medicare chief last week" (Millman, 12/6).

Becker's Hospital Review: "Congress may have to create incentives for joining ACOs, such as lower out-of-pocket costs or getting a part of the savings, MedPAC wrote. The panel also recommended allowing beneficiaries to switch from an assigned primary care provider to another provider who is not in an ACO" (Page, 12/6).

Related, earlier KHN story: Health Care Interests Push To Make ACOs Pay Off For Them (Galewitz and Gold, 10/10).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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