EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MedeAnalytics, a leading provider of healthcare performance management solutions, disseminated today a white paper that summarizes the 696-page final rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 20, 2011.
The white paper, entitled, "Accountable Care Organizations: Summary and Analysis of the Final Rule," covers a wide range of areas, including the ACO application process, shared governance requirement, beneficiary assignment, legal issues, quality measures, shared savings and losses, the Advance Payment Model, the overall fiscal impact of the program, average ACO financial returns, and initial responses by major provider associations.
Commenting on the regulation's quality measures, MedeAnalytics' Chief Nursing Officer Kathleen Kimmel stated, "The final rule reflects a commendable responsiveness to stakeholder feedback, paring down the number of quality metrics from 65 to 33. There is a definite preference for ambulatory-related measures and an emphasis on encouraging a standardized patient experience. Our analysis indicates that all but one of the final quality measures overlap with at least one of the other established quality reporting programs, namely the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicators and measures from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, Meaningful Use Stage 1, the Physician Quality Reporting System and Hospital Value-Based Purchasing. This bodes well for healthcare providers who choose to participate in the Shared Savings Program."
"The final rule clearly shows that CMS listened to and took into consideration the some 1,320 public comments on the proposed rule. Like many dialogues in Washington, D.C., today, the discussion on the terms and conditions of the Medicare ACO program often resembled a protracted negotiation," noted Ken Perez, who directs MedeAnalytics' healthcare policy team and serves as the company's senior vice president of marketing. "Though the final rule is unquestionably more generous, flexible and supportive to providers, it remains to be seen whether this voluntary program will regain the momentum and sense of optimism held by providers that was seriously diminished by the proposed rule."
To download the complete report, including a table summarizing key differences between the proposed rule and the final rule, visit MedeAnalytics' ACO Resource Center at www.medeanalytics.com/aco.
Founded in 1994, MedeAnalytics delivers performance management solutions across the healthcare system—including hospitals, physician practices and payers—to ensure accountability and improve financial, operational and clinical outcomes. For more information, visit www.medeanalytics.com.
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