CMS Proposes Changes to ACOs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is considering changing its evaluation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) to be based on regional spending fee-for-service costs.

The CMS recently filed a proposal in the Federal Register, with a focus on shifting ACO benchmarks away from looking at historical spending. The CMS also noted in the proposal that making ACO benchmarks that reflect regional spending, rather than historical expenditures, would offer an alternative option to encourage ACOs to enter performance-based risk arrangements.

CMS officials have also commented that this proposal would allow ACOs in all parts of the country to be successful by recognizing both their achievements and improvements in how they provide care. CMS is accepting comments on the proposal through March 28, 2016.