In late 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations final rule.
This final rule differs significantly from the earlier proposal and reflects several AAFP-recommended changes. It largely recognizes that small- to medium-sized physician practices cannot convert their administrative procedures and health record systems overnight, and the final rule is designed to provide both time and resources to make the program more attractive.
CMS envisioned the final rule would help create as many as 270 Medicare ACOs, significantly more than the 75 to 150 Medicare ACOs that CMS had estimated in conjunction with the proposed regulation. This voluntary program was implemented on January 1, 2012.
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Accountable Care Organizations
Summary of the Final Medicare ACO Regulation