The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued this Request for Information or public comments about the accountable care organizations/shared savings programs authorized by sections 3022 and 3021 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While section 3022 focuses on Medicare as the payor that would drive this model of quality improvement and payment reform, the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has much broader authority under section 3021 to develop the model, including multi-payor models. By seeking initial comments on accountable care organizations under the broader framework of section 3022, CMS seems to be signaling that it is interested in the accountable care organization concept beyond the legislatively defined Medicare model. The Request for Information also specifically requests comments about how solo and small group practices could participate in such models and how CMS should develop criteria to ensure that the models are patient-centered. Comments are due on December 3, 2010. It is expected that CMS will issue proposed regulations for these accountable care organizations in the spring of 2011.
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