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Toward Accountable Payment

Our latest update on health care payment reform and innovation

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CMS announces 2014 Medicare Shared Savings Program application deadlines

Rob Lazerow April 16, 2013

Last week, CMS released the application schedule for joining the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in January 2014.

CMS moved the application deadlines forward by one month, starting the process in May rather than June this year. Although CMS offered three application windows for the initial cohorts—April 2012, July 2012, and January 2013—CMS has transitioned to a single, annual MSSP application process. Note that any organizations that miss the upcoming application deadlines would need to wait another year to apply for the MSSP’s January 2015 cohort.

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Study finds more than 400 ACOs up and running

Rob Lazerow March 28, 2013


"How many ACOs are there?"

It’s a question I hear from Advisory Board members all the time—and the answer changes frequently. In addition to the 106 new Medicare ACOs that launched in January, ACOs continue to emerge in the private sector at a steady clip.

This past month alone, the Daily Briefing’sACO Roundup” announced several upcoming commercial payer initiatives, including new ACO contracts between Lifespan Corporation and UnitedHealthcare, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, and MissionPoint Health Partners and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The count keeps rising.

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Meet the Care Transformation Center Blog

Rob Lazerow February 22, 2013

We're only two months into 2013, and this has already proven to be a busy year for payment innovation. So far, we have welcomed 106 new Medicare ACOs and more than 450 Medicare bundling sites—not to mention the range of program and pilots underway in the private sector

This year also marks an important evolution in the transition to accountable care. Providers are increasingly shifting focus from evaluating potential payment models to operating under new risk-based contracts.

To support providers beginning to tackle risk-based contracts, I want to introduce Toward Accountable Payment readers to our sister blog, the Care Transformation Center Blog. Log in now to subscribe to their email alerts.

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Exploring the role of incentives in performance improvement

Rob Lazerow February 7, 2013

RobLast week, the Advisory Board’s Michael Koppenheffer wrote a provocative critique of Bill Keller’s recent New York Times op-ed, “Carrots for Doctors.” Anyone interested in physician performance improvement or accountable care will find both articles worth reading.

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A breakdown of the four BPCI bundling models

Rob Lazerow February 1, 2013

Rob Lazerow and David Clain

Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative is up and running, and participating providers have selected a wide range of clinical conditions for their bundling programs.

Beyond selecting clinical conditions, providers also needed to choose among the four bundling models offered through the initiative. The models vary by the portions of the care continuum included, payment mechanics, and minimum discount rate.

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What are BPCI participants bundling?

Rob Lazerow February 1, 2013

Rob Lazerow and David Clain

Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative has begun, and we're already seeing participants bundling across a wide range of clinical conditions.

Although previous bundling pilots have typically focused on procedural care, BPCI enables providers to bundle for both surgical and medical admissions. BPCI providers are participating in each of the 48 bundles offered in Models 2-4 of the program, and the top 10 most selected bundles include a balance of surgical and medical care. Nearly half of all selected bundles represent medical, rather than surgical, conditions.

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BPCI surpasses MSSP as the largest Medicare accountable care program

Rob Lazerow February 1, 2013

Rob Lazerow and David Clain

Nearly 18 months after its unveiling, Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative is now underway.

Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medication Innovation (CMMI) announced that more than 450 providers will participate in the program, which reimburses providers for certain care episodes through single case rates and enables gainsharing among collaborating providers.

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Meet the new Medicare ACOs

Rob Lazerow January 28, 2013

Earlier this month, HHS announced the launch of the third wave of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs. The January cohort includes 106 ACOs—the largest launch group yet—bringing the total number of MSSP participants up to 221 ACOs. According to HSS, up to four million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries may receive care from ACOs this year.

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