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Monday
Oct312011

Thoughts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule

By Bill DeMarco, October 31, 2011

The dynamics of the new final Medicare Shared Savings regulations are re-igniting interest by many who had passed this by because the proposed regulations were overwhelming.

Several associations including AHA, AMA and AGPA who were skeptics in reviewing the proposed regulations have come out publically and see some potential here. We see the upside opportunity being improved putting more on the physician plate to better plan for startup costs and see the reduction on the number of indicators to be reported making the medical management requirement a bit more realistic. Dropping EMR requirement has been a good decision by CMS as this was a burden for many physician networks.

Finally, the concern over attribution looks like it has been replaced with a more solid assignment process of patients so physicians know who they are accountable for. Several points that are missed in these comments are:

1) Value based purchasing and all that it has become is the over arching goral of this shared savings process and we see that for private or public payers that this is a good framework to start with.

2) This is truly a BIG opportunity for Primary care to band together and manage at a higher level both clinical care improvements and financial integration of their practices in a manner that makes care delivery scalable.

3  This ACO evolution gives health plans and physician something positive to discuss with the knowledge by most plans that if the providers should become dissatisfied they, the physicians, may start their own plan.

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