KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

ACO Pioneers Face Decision Deadline

Modern Healthcare reports that Medicare Pioneers have until July 15 to let the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services know if they plan to stay in the program for a second year. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Mirror offers a picture of how accountable care organizations work.  

Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: Pioneer ACOs Face July 15 Decision Deadline
Medicare Pioneer accountable care organizations have until the end of the business day July 15 to inform CMS officials whether they plan to remain in the program for a second year. Also next week, the CMS is supposed to offer results of the program's first year, details about year two, and the names of those Pioneer participants that won't continue (Zigmond, 7/12).

CT Mirror: Trying To Find A New Way To Pay For And Deliver Health Care
One of the patients in Doug Arnold's new medical network received care from 99 different health care providers in the past three years, costing Medicare $375,000. And although that care might not have been optimal or cost-effective, from a financial perspective, no one in the health care system had an incentive to do things differently. "In a case like that, this person or their family members are just left to deal with all these providers on an episodic, uncoordinated basis," said Arnold, CEO of a Middletown-based group of doctors known as MPS ACO Physicians. … MPS ACO Physicians is one of a handful of Connecticut-based medical networks known as Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, an initiative for Medicare patients created by the federal health reform law (Becker, 7/12).

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