Former CMS Head: ACOs May be 'Party Nobody Comes to'

Gail Wilensky, CMD administrator under President George H.W. Bush, said CMS' proposed rules for accountable care organizations have "all the hallmarks of a party that nobody comes to, unless there is a serious rethinking," according to a report by the Associated Press.



Ms. Wilensky, who in the past has spoken positively about the ACO concept, said the idea of coordinating care isn't the problem, but "it sounds like [the administration] really overshot the mark" with the proposed rules.


As providers' criticisms of the ACO rules rain down on CMS, an agency spokesman said it is making extensive outreach efforts to explain and obtain feedback on the regulations. "We will carefully consider this input," he said. "We are confident that providers' decisions on whether to participate in the program will be made on the basis of the final rule, which will reflect the feedback we receive."


The Obama administration had estimated as much as $960 million in savings from the first three years of the program, and higher amounts thereafter. But the American Medical Group Association, representing large practices, has reported that 93 percent of its members would not enroll as an ACO under the current regulatory framework. AMGA members like the Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah and Geisinger Health System have independently stated their concerns about ACOs.


"It's not just a simple tweak, it's a significant change that needs to be made," said AMGA President Donald Fisher, PhD.


Read the Associated Press report on ACOs.


Related Articles on Criticisms of ACOs:

5 Concerns With Proposed Rules for ACOs From AMGA

Mayo, Geisinger, Cleveland Clinic May Not Participate in ACOs

3 Key Deficiencies of ACOs From the Heritage Foundation



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