CHA News Article

CMS Proposes Updates to ACO Program
Proposed rule offers additional flexibility in risk-sharing agreements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the attached proposed rule that would update the Medicare Shared Savings Plan for accountable care organizations (ACOs), providing greater flexibility in risk-sharing agreements. The proposed rule would allow new and existing ACOs to delay financial penalties for an additional three years, in exchange for taking on greater risk and agreeing to accept no more than 40 percent of the money they save Medicare — rather than the 50 percent maximum they can keep during the first three years —  after the sixth year. The proposed rule would also create a new third track for ACO participation, which would allow ACOs to earn more savings than currently available (75 percent shared savings) in exchange for an agreement to pay the government if they cost Medicare extra. The proposed rule also makes changes to beneficiary assignment and data sharing requirements. More information is available in a fact sheet issued by CMS.  CHA is currently reviewing the proposed rule and will provide a more detailed summary in the coming weeks. CHA will solicit member input for comments, which are due Feb. 6, 2015.