New AMA principles back rights for physicians, ACOs
The American Medical Association said independent doctors should have legal leeway to remain so without violating fraud and abuse laws in upcoming regulations for accountable care organizations. The AMA released its accountable care principles that were adopted during a policy meeting in San Diego. The AMA called for explicit exemptions for accountable care networks under antitrust law. The Federal Trade Commission chairman said in October that authorities would create a safe harbor that would allow networks to operate legally. The AMA also laid out policies for accountable care payment and governance. ACOs that spend less than the national average should receive bonus payments, the group said. The CMS should test multiple incentive models and ACOs that accept financial risk “must abide by the financial solvency standards” of risk-bearing organizations, the AMA policy said. ACO boards must be independent from participating hospital boards and they must have a sufficient number of doctors to ensure medical decisions are made by doctors.