The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have announced a final rule to encourage more accountable care organizations (ACOs) to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program by streamlining payments and offering additional terms of participation to providers. CMS said in a statement:
Today’s changes will encourage more physicians to improve patient care by joining ACOs, while also refining how the program measures success, so that current participants are better rewarded for quality.
The adoption of ACOs has been an obstacle for the agency; in spite of an estimated savings of $411 million in 2014, only a few providers qualified for bonuses. With a smoother payment system and broader parameters, more providers are likely to consider the move to an ACO.