If the rumors are true, tomorrow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission will be releasing voluminous regulations governing the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (“ACO”) and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. But before we receive all the minutiae of the regulations, we wanted to provide a brief overview of what is already known about ACOs.
1. The purposes of ACOs are to: (1) facilitate coordination and cooperation, (2) improve the quality of care and (3) reduce unnecessary costs.
2. ACOs were created by the Affordable Care Act, which was signed by President Obama approximately one year ago.