ACOs: Will Feds Be Ready For The Start Date?
Politico Pro: Is The ACO Start Date Slipping Out Of Reach
Health care stakeholders and lobbyists are increasingly convinced that CMS will not make the Jan. 1 deadline for launching the flagship accountable care organization program mandated by the Affordable Care Act as release of the final rule slips later into the fall. For months, stakeholders had been hearing from CMS that the rule would be coming sometime in September, but a CMS official acknowledged to a group of hospitals Monday what most observers had already concluded: The rule will not be coming this month. Odds are it may not be until the middle of next month at the soonest, since CMS has still not formally submitted the final rule to OMB for its review. Bruce Fried, a partner at SNR Denton who oversaw the expansion of the Medicare managed care program under the Clinton administration, said the delay means a Jan. 1 start date for the program is "just not possible" (Feder, 9/28).