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MedPAC Hints at Shared Risk for Medicare ACOs

The independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues is interested in seeing Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) share the financial risk associated with serving their members. At a recent public meeting, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) noted that the first round of Medicare ACOs share in the savings they help generate while serving their members.  An appropriate next step, some MedPAC members maintained, would be for those ACOs to share the financial risks associated with failing to produce such savings. Currently, ACOs begin with a three-year cycle of no risk but a share of savings.  [&hellip

An Urban Safety-Net ACO

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, ten federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) joined forces to create an accountable care organization (ACO) as part of a Medicaid demonstration program.  Together, the FQHCs assumed full responsibility for the medical lives of a defined population. Read about how the FQHCs came together, what they did, and the results they produced in this Commonwealth Fund case study

MedPAC Sees Limits in ACOs

One of the foremost advocates of accountable care organizations (ACOs), MedPAC is now beginning to see the limits of this approach to delivering health care services. At MedPAC’s latest meeting, members of the independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment matters discussed some of the shortcomings of ACOs, including limited ability to deliver savings; unwillingness to impose penalties on participants when they fail to meet savings goals; inability to manage care; and more. Learn more about what one of the nation’s most important sources of ideas on health care delivery and payment thinks about ACOs in this CQ HealthBeat [&hellip

The Value of Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems

As health care reform efforts look increasingly to integrated care systems in search of ways to provide better, more economical care, the importance of including safety-net providers in such delivery systems should not be overlooked. So conclude the authors of “Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems:  Issues and Options for Policymakers,” a new issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund. The brief notes that in many places, safety-net hospitals and other safety-net providers have far more experience caring for low-income patients than other providers and can play important roles in integrated delivery systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs). The [&hellip

ACOs and the Medicare Shared Savings Program

The Medicare Shared Savings Program, created by the Affordable Care Act and scheduled to take effect in April, is looking to accountable care organizations (ACOs) to save money and improve the quality of care paid for with public funds. A new health policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the publication Health Affairs takes a closer look at ACOs:  what they are, how they performed in a recent federal demonstration program, how they work, and what policy-makers hope they will achieve.  Read a summary of the policy brief and download the entire document here

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