Medi­care shared sav­ings ap­pli­ca­tions now avail­able

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The CMS re­leased its Medi­care Shared Sav­ings Pro­gram ap­pli­ca­tion for 2012 and will ac­cept ap­pli­ca­tions be­gin­ning Dec. 1. The 21-page ap­pli­ca­tion, avail­able on the CMS’ web­site, seeks in­for­ma­tion on the le­gal and gov­er­nance struc­ture of ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions, provider par­tic­i­pa­tion agree­ments, data-shar­ing, and qual­ity im­prove­ment and pa­tient en­gage­ment ef­forts. The pro­gram, cre­ated by the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act of 2010, of­fers hos­pi­tals and med­i­cal groups fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to re­duce costs and im­prove qual­ity for a group of Medi­care pa­tients. The CMS an­nounced in fi­nal rules re­leased last month that it would stag­ger the start of the pro­gram over two dates: April 1 and July 1. The agency posted dead­lines for ap­pli­ca­tions on its web­site. The CMS will take ap­pli­ca­tions for the April 1 start date from Dec. 1, 2011, through Jan. 20, 2012, and fed­eral of­fi­cials will name those that are ac­cepted on March 16, 2012. Ap­pli­ca­tions for the July 1 start will be ac­cepted from March 1-30, with the ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions to be named on May 31. re­quired to “re­turn, delete or other­wise per­ma­nently dis­pose of” the data. Sen. Chuck Grass­ley (R-iowa), who has been cru­sad­ing for the restora­tion of the file, said the com­pro­mise was un­nec­es­sary and un­work­able. Dr. Sid­ney Wolfe, a mem­ber of the data bank’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and di­rec­tor of the consumer ad­vo­cacy group Pub­lic Cit­i­zen’s Health Re­search Group, called the move “a step in the right di­rec­tion” but also that block­ing ac­cess to re­porters seek­ing to pro­vide “the pub­lic with more in­for­ma­tion about doc­tors and press­ing for re­form of med­i­cal board and hos­pi­tal dis­ci­pline is un­ac­cept­able.”

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