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CMS releases stronger incentives to join ACOs

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CMS has released final regulatory revisions  to strengthen incentives for Accountable Care Organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the changes  will “encourage more physicians to improve patient care by joining ACOs, while also refining how the program measures success, so that current participants are better rewarded for quality.”

Mr. Slavitt said the changes will also help physicians prepare for the new Quality Payment Program That program will hold providers to unprecedented accountability not just for reporting, but also, among large physician groups, for performance on a broad range of behaviors.

Here, according to Becker’s Hospital Review, are five takeaways from the MSSP ACO final rule.

1. “CMS modified the process for resetting benchmarks used to determine ACO performance.”

2. “CMS removed the adjustment that explicitly accounts for savings generated under an ACO’s prior agreement period.”

3. “The rule includes a phased-in approach to implementation.”

4. “CMS finalized an additional option for ACOs participating under Track 1 to apply to renew for a second agreement period under a two-sided model.”

5. “The rule establishes timeframes and criteria for ACOs to appeal CMS’ calculation of bonuses and penalties.”


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