||June 6, 2011
||Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Robert Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary
Proposed Regulations for Accountable Care Organizations Will Help Improve Patient Care
Proposed Regulations Offer a Good Step toward Providing Higher-Quality and More Efficient Health Care
Washington, D.C.—Today, Families USA urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to maintain its strong quality improvement standards and consumer protections in response to the agency’s proposed regulation on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
Accountable Care Organizations are a group of providers who are held accountable for improving health care quality while lowering the rate of growth in health spending. The Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs are one of the many new programs created by the Affordable Care Act that are designed to change the way that health care is delivered by improving quality and lowering costs. New models of care delivery and payment, such as Accountable Care Organizations, have great potential to improve care coordination and to lead comprehensive, patient-centered care.
“We are very pleased with the balanced approach that the Obama Administration has taken in the proposed regulations,” said Ron Pollack, Families USA’s Executive Director. “CMS has effectively balanced a consumer focus with other stakeholder concerns.
“We strongly urge CMS to maintain the quality improvements and consumer protections in the final rule. It is essential that new delivery systems, such as ACOs, are more than a new way to pay health care providers.”
“The proposed rule ensures that Medicare beneficiaries and their needs are a centerpiece of ACO design,” Pollack said. “While some people are concerned about asking too much of ACOs and individual providers, we commend CMS for holding ACOs to a standard that is reasonable and ensures that ACOs will deliver high-quality, patient-centered care.”
A copy of Families USA’s extensive comments about the proposed regulations is available.
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
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