New Shared Saving Program FAQs Posted to the CMS Website
CMS has posted new Medicare Shared Savings Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the CMS Shared Savings Program website. Answers to questions from industry stakeholders have necessitated that the FAQs be updated to provide additional guidance to all Medicare Shared Savings Program applicants under 42 CFR part 425 related to mergers and acquisitions. The new FAQs also cover the following topic categories: Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Participant List, Form CMS-588 Electronic Funds Transfer, and Governing Body. To learn more about the Shared Saving Program, please visit www.cms.hhs.gov/SharedSavingsProgram
Healthcare can only achieve long-term success through strategic alignment between hospitals and their physicians.
CMS and Industry Conferences everywhere are talking ACOs and Care Transition Models. Explore new hospital and physician integration models online at the CMS website. Learn all you can about ACOs, Guided Care Models, Patient Centered Medical Models, and Care Transitions as home health is changing and you may need to change also.
HHS Announces 89 New Accountable Care Organizations
Just a month ago the numbers were 31 ACOs and 1.1M beneficiaries. Now CMS reports 2.4 million people with Medicare are to receive better, more coordinated care through 89 new ACOs.
On July 9, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that as of July 1, 2012 there were 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) serving 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states and Washington, D.C. ACOs are organizations formed by groups of doctors and other health care providers that formally agree to work together to coordinate care for people in need covered by Medicare.
The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), and other initiatives related to ACOs, is made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 89 ACOs announced on July 9 bring the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 54. In all, as of July 1, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives.
To ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely, an ACO must meet quality standards. (See June/July Select Data ezines as to ACO requirements). For 2012, CMS has established 33 quality measures relating to care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care.
Beginning this year, new ACO applications will be accepted annually. The application period for organizations that wish to participate in the MSSP beginning in January 2013 is from August 1 through September 6, 2012.
More Than 16 Million People With Medicare Get Free Preventive Services in 2012
Attributed to the Affordable Care Act, additional preventive services at no cost to beneficiaries.
Prior to 2011, people with Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits such as cancer screenings. Through the Affordable Care Act, many preventive benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, because, it is believed, cost has been a factor. Now offered at no cost for seniors are several prevention screenings.
The law also added an important new service for people with Medicare — an Annual Wellness Visit with the doctor of their choice— at no cost to beneficiaries.
For more information on Medicare-covered preventive services, visit Healthcare.gov.
The healthcare industry is rapidly changing. Agencies must be ready to change. Are you?