AMA – April 10, 2012 – According to Peter W. Carmel, M.D., president, American Medical Association: “We are extremely pleased that a majority of the 27 newest Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) announced today by CMS will be physician-led and five of the new groups will participate in the advanced payment model. The AMA strongly advocated for these two options, and today’s CMS announcement shows that allowing all interested physicians to lead and participate in this new model increases the number of groups forming Medicare ACOs.
“Physician practices are benefiting from the financial assistance offered by the advanced payment initiative, which was created as a direct result of the AMA’s recommendation to CMS. The upfront payments offered through this program help with the cost of starting an ACO, which is especially beneficial for small physician practices.
“Allowing physicians in all practice settings and sizes to participate increases the number of Medicare ACOs and maximizes the benefits for patients, physicians, taxpayers and the Medicare system as a whole. CMS’ announcement today shows that many of the first ACOs will be lead by physicians and build on existing physician-patient relationships. This is critical to successfully improve the quality of patient care while reducing costs. While not all physicians will choose to be part of an ACO, allowing all who are interested to participate in this new model helps its prospects for long-term success.