AHCA: ‘Nursing Facilities Can Be Included in New ACOs’
An analysis released today by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) argues nursing homes and other post-acute facilities would be eligible to participate in Accountable Care Organizations—or ACOs—“as soon as quality measures for care are finalized in these settings,” according to a release.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule on ACOs last week in fulfillment of one of healthcare reform’s requirements. Under the rule, an ACO could include various networks of hospitals and physicians meeting group practice arrangement requirements; hospitals employing ACO professionals; and “other” Medicare providers and suppliers, as determined by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
AHCA’s analysis of the proposed rule determined that the HHS secretary can include post-acute care facilities in ACOs. “CMS also proposes using quality measures for the first year, and then adding measures for hospital-based care and for other settings, including nursing homes, to expand the ACO,” according to the AHCA release.
“Our membership and other post-acute care providers are adept in coordinating patients’ care by working with physicians, hospitals, and other key stakeholders,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA. “Skilled nursing facilities will be an asset to new ACOs as we aim to build a higher-quality, more cost-effective experience for those needing care.”
CMS is soliciting comments regarding the types of providers and suppliers that should be included as potential ACO participants during a 60-day comment period ending June 6.
ACO proposed rule (PDF format)