New payment model proposed for ACOs

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The current payment plans for accountable care organizations (ACO) do not work and should be replaced with a global payment model adjusted for risk, two healthcare experts say in a Health Affairs blog post.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages the ACO program, has been reluctant “to pay providers a competitive amount based on the entirety of care delivered rather than the history of payments,” write David Krueger, executive director and medical director of Bellin-Thedacare Healthcare Partners in Northeast Wisconsin, and John Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. “CMS payments in all of the ACO models remains tied to historical fee-for-service payments rather than the value of care delivered.”

Should the agency continue on this path, Krueger and Toussaint warn that “failure to acknowledge historical improvements and the true cost of delivery will eventually drive the best performers out of the market altogether.”

Read more: Fierce Health Finance

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