ACOs – A First Step Towards A Value-Based Payment System

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October 20, 2011

CONTACT:Lindsay Harnish
202-638-7151

ACOs – A First Step Towards A Value-Based Payment System

Statement by NCHC President and CEO John Rother on the final rule for Accountable Care Organizations.

“Initiatives like accountable care organizations (ACOs) are absolutely necessary if America’s health system is going to move past the fragmented approach that inflates costs and shortchanges quality. The improved financial incentives encourage providers to better coordinate care and reduce waste.

The approach to creating ACOs outlined in today’s rule takes several important steps. By allowing providers to share in the savings that more effective care can generate, provided they perform well on a manageable set of 33 quality criteria and by offering a process to help ACOs avoid running afoul of antitrust laws, this rule will encourage providers to participate in the program. Allowing community health centers and rural health clinics to lead, ACOs will ensure that this care and payment model reaches the populations with the most to gain from improved care coordination.

The new rule provides the opportunity for accountable care organizations to successfully improve quality of patient care while reducing health system costs – it’s a first step towards system-wide cost containment, but it’s critical that policymakers continue to push for payment reforms beyond ACOs that reward value across the health system.”

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