AMGA Expresses Concerns about Accountable Care Organization Proposals to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Last week, the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) sent a letter to Donald Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expressing concerns about the proposed rule establishing the Medicare Shared Savings Program through implementation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that was released on March 31, 2011.

AMGA thanked Dr. Berwick and the agency for their efforts in drafting the proposed regulations, but went on to enumerate serious concerns over the direction the proposed rule takes. The letter states that the proposals are overly prescriptive and operationally burdensome, rendering the incentives too difficult for ACOs to achieve in order for the voluntary program to be attractive to potential participants.

In an AMGA survey of its membership, 93 percent of respondents stated that they would not participate in the ACO program unless the requirements in the final rule reflect major modifications to the proposals. In their current form, the requirements would render the ACO program a missed opportunity to inject value and accountability into the delivery system.

AMGA is currently drafting a detailed comment letter on the proposed rule that is due to CMS on June 6. To view the letter sent to Dr. Berwick, click here.

Regardless of the outcome of the rulemaking process, AMGA states that it will continue to assist its members with becoming High-Performing Care Organizations through a full-slate of regional meetings this spring and ourInstitute for Quality Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, September 19-21.

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