ACO Special Report: Under construction, under fire

June 25, 2011

Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asked for comments on the much-anticipated regulations for accountable care organizations in late March, the proposed rules have been under constant attack.

Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asked for comments on the much-anticipated regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs) in late March, the proposed rules have been under constant attack.

Although medical societies, major clinics, and practice groups around the country have broadly supported the concept of ACOs, they have relentlessly criticized the specifics spelled out in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

These leading clinics are not alone in their concern; 93% of American Medical Group Association (AMGA) members said they would not participate in ACOs under the current proposed rules.

Even so, the news isn't all bad for CMS.

"This is a new effort and there will be some refinement," says Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, FAAFP, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). "We remain convinced that ACOs have a significant opportunity to make healthcare more accountable and focused on value."

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