CMS Issues Proposed ACO Regulations; Public Comment Period Begins

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Proposed Rule for accountable care organizations (ACOs) on Thursday. A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Policy Statement was also released, along with a CMS-Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Fraud and Abuse Waiver, IRS Guidance and an ACO Fact Sheet.

CMS will receive public comment on the proposed regulations for the next 60 days. You can submit comments electronically at Please follow the instructions for “Submit a comment.” Instructions for alternate delivery comments is found on pages 2 and 3 of the Proposed Rule.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the new rules are designed to help doctors, hospitals and other health care providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through ACOs.  HHS announced that it will hold a series of open-door forums and listening sessions during the comment period to help the public understand what CMS is proposing to do.

NCMS Continues to Educate Physicians about ACOS

The NCMS will provide updates about ACOs on a new NCMS ACO Website being launched today. We urge you to visit the website often in order to stay updated on this important initiative.

The NCMS ACO Task Force is hosting an Accountable Care Forum at today’s meeting of the NCMS Coordinating Council of Specialty Societies in High Point. The NCMS will be working with the Task Force to generate comments on the Proposed ACO Rule for submission to CMS.

Presentations at today’s Forum will include:

  • Physician’s role in the Development of Innovative Health Care Delivery Models, presented by Mission Hospital CEO Ron Paulus, MD;
  • Bringing Primary Care Physicians and Specialists Together, presented by Community Care of North Carolina President Allen Dobson, MD.

Be watching for additional information in future Bulletins and online at

NCMS ACO Initiative Began in 2010

The proposed ACO regulations come nearly seven months after the NCMS held an ACO Summit last August at NCMS headquarters in Raleigh. The standing-room-only turnout of physicians marked the start of an ongoing effort to help physicians understand, develop and implement ACOs, which are included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The NCMS hosted an ACO Webinar on March 14, led by Steven Wegner, MD, chair of the NCMS Accountable Care Task Force, who partnered with Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, MD, who also serves on the Task Force and is a member of the NCMS Board of Directors.


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