Noteworthy News

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.

medpac-logo.Par.0001.ImageCurrently, ACOs begin with a three-year cycle of no risk but a share of savings.  According to some MedPAC commissioners, this learning period should be followed by a second three-year cycle in which the ACOs share in both financial risk and savings.

Growing numbers of urban safety-net hospitals are involved or contemplating participation in ACOs.

MedPAC is still studying this issue and has not made a recommendation to Congress.

To learn more about MedPAC’s thinking on the Medicare ACO issue, see this MedPage Today article.

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