The proposed regulations governing accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) were published on March 31, 2011.
The goal of the ACO model is to reduce Medicare costs and improve care by focusing funds on prevention and quality, rather than the number of times a patient sees a doctor. The ACO approach shifts from a model that focuses on production (i.e. standard treatments for illnesses) to a model that focuses on health risks and behaviors. Behaviors are now the main force affecting health status, future expenses and outcomes.
The proposed regulations will reward ACOs that deliver better results for Medicare patients. They will also require participating groups of primary care doctors to take responsibility for managing the care of at least 5,000 Medicare patients.
The complete text of the proposed regulations can be viewed by accessing the following link:
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