Physicians can now participate in an accountable care organization (“ACO”) without facing financial penalties for failing to achieve savings targets. This new rule is among several released by CMS designed to increase the incentives for hospitals and physicians to join an ACO. Other new rules include lowering the requirement of participants in an ACO to use electronic health records and a reduction in the number of quality measures.
While ACOs are designed to reward health care providers for providing quality care at cost-efficient rates, many providers were reluctant to embrace the system because of worries about the risks of penalties. CMS hopes these new incentives will reduce such fears and encourage physicians and other health care providers to pursue ACO participation.
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