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AMA Happy Latest Medicare ACOs are Physician-Led

April 12, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The American Medical Association (AMA) is pleased the latest Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), 27 in all, announced this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will be physician-led. The physician advocacy association said it is also pleased five of the new groups will participate in the advanced payment model.

"Physician practices are benefiting from the financial assistance offered by the advanced payment initiative, which was created as a direct result of the AMA's recommendation to CMS. The upfront payments offered through this program help with the cost of starting an ACO, which is especially beneficial for small physician practices,” Peter W. Carmel, M.D., President of the AMA, said in a statement.

The newly announced 27 ACOs for the Shared Savings Program, a part of the Affordable Care Act, will take part in the federal effort aimed at helping physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers work together in an effort to improve care for people with Medicare. The 27 ACOs will serve an estimated 375,000 beneficiaries in 18 states, which brings the total number of organizations participating Medicare shared savings initiatives on April 1 to 65, including the 32 Pioneer Model ACOs introduced last December.

"Allowing physicians in all practice settings and sizes to participate increases the number of Medicare ACOs and maximizes the benefits for patients, physicians, taxpayers and the Medicare system as a whole. CMS' announcement today shows that many of the first ACOs will be lead by physicians and build on existing physician-patient relationships,” said Carmel.



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