CMS Plans ACO Learning Sessions

HealthLeadersMedia | Widespread objections to proposed federal rules on accountable care organizations prompted the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week to announce enticements designed to sway providers to apply for the new payment model.

On Thursday CMS fleshed out one of the programs that it hopes will generate interest: Three-day learning sessions focused on ACOs.

The accelerated development learning sessions are designed to provide senior executives with in-depth information about the core competencies of an ACO, including improving care delivery to increase quality and reduce costs; effectively using health information technology and data resources; and building capacity to assume and manage financial risk.

Four sessions are planned around the country. The first is in Minneapolis on June 20-22. Dates for the other three sessions have not yet been released.

The target audiences for the sessions are physician group practices, independent practice associations, physician-hospital organizations, and integrated delivery systems. Two to four participants from an organization may attend. CMS recommends that each team include at least one member with financial/management responsibility and one with clinical responsibility. Other suggested participants include chief information officers and executives with strategic planning responsibilities.

According to the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2011, more than half, (52%) of physicians surveyed said they expect to be part of an ACO within the next five years. That survey, however, was completed months before the proposed rules were released in April.


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