Many health care provider organizations have not been overly eager to jump onto the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) bandwagon, citing high startup costs and uncertain returns on investment given the complexity of the program. Well, recently, the CMS Center for Innovation has announced the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement initiative. This initiative incorporates elements of earlier CMS demonstration projects — the gainsharing demos and ACE (acute care episode) bundled payments demonstrations which the HealthBlawger has helped a number of clients around the country qualify for in the past — and builds on the broad authority granted to the CMS Center for Innovation under health reform.
The advantages to proceeding with a Bundled Payment for Care Improvement project include the opportunity to participate in CMS shared savings programs while only providing limited commitment of organizational resources, i.e., limited to one or more discrete service lines or episodes of care. Of course, investments in a culture of collaboration must be made, but the system-wide investment in IT and other infrastructure at the level called for in order to qualify as an ACO would not necessarily be required in order to proceed with this initiative.
There are a number of different models open to participants, and nonbinding letters of commitment are due as early as late September.
From the CMS Center for Innovation announcement: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*