On June 7th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule improving how Medicare pays Accountable Care Organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for delivering better patient care. Medicare is moving away from paying for each service a physician provides towards a system that rewards physicians for coordinating with each other. Accountable Care Organizations are a major part of that transition, rewarding providers that deliver high-quality, efficient, and coordinated care for patients.
Medicare bases Accountable Care Organizations’ payments on a variety of factors, including whether the Accountable Care Organization can deliver high-quality care at a reasonable cost. The final rule should help more Accountable Care Organizations successfully participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program by improving the shared savings payment methodology and providing a new participation option for certain Accountable Care Organizations to move to the more advanced tracks of the program.