Berwick Offers Hopeful Prediction: The Launch Of ‘Pioneer’ ACOs By End Of Year
Also in the headlines: the Department of Health and Human Services tells Delaware "no" in response to its medical-loss ratio waiver request. And on the state level, the AP reports that some Illinois lawmakers involved in developing their state exchange are receiving campaign cash from insurers.
CQ HealthBeat: Berwick Addresses Timetable For ACOs, Exchanges
Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services Administrator Donald M. Berwick said Monday that he thinks "pioneer" accountable care organizations will be launched by the end of the year. In the same sentence, Berwick amended that a bit to "hopes." An end-of-the-year launch may represent a slippage in the timetable for the pioneer ACOs, which consist of teams of providers that federal officials believe are further along in their capacity to contract with Medicare to improve the coordination of care in the traditional Medicare program. CMS said earlier this year that it would launch about 30 pioneer ACOs in the fall, prior to the launch of the regular ACO program in January (Reichard, 9/12).
CQ HealthBeat: It's A "No" For Delaware On Waiver From The MLR While Others Wait
Delaware has become the second state to be turned down by the Department of Health and Human Services for a waiver from medical payout rules in the health care law. Steve Larsen of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight wrote to Delaware officials in a letter dated Sept. 9 that the evidence they presented in their request "does not establish a reasonable likelihood" that the insurance market in the state would be destabilized by adhering to the law (Norman, 9/12).
The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Lawmakers On Exchange Panel Get Insurance Funds
The insurance industry is handing out campaign cash to Illinois lawmakers who will play pivotal roles in setting up Illinois' health-benefits exchange. Democrats Frank Mautino and William Haine and Republicans JoAnn Osmond and Bill Brady are co-chairpersons of the study committee, which is expected to make recommendations to the General Assembly by Sept. 30 on how the exchange should be governed and funded. According to The State Journal-Register in Springfield, the legislators have received a combined total of $70,800 from the insurance industry so far this year (9/12).