The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced an additional round of applications for testing Medicare’s advance payment model ACOs, which provide physician-owned and rural providers with start-up resources to build the necessary infrastructure for an accountable care organization.
In October, 2011, the CMS Innovation Center had announced that applications for testing this type of ACO model would only be accepted for start dates of April 1, 2012, and July 1, 2012. But CMS is now is accepting applications for an additional round for organizations that would begin on January 1, 2013.
Accountable care organizations are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that join together to provide coordinated care to patients. The Affordable Care Act authorizes ACOs to function within Medicare and, for those that achieve specific quality and cost benchmarks, allows them to share in any cost savings.