Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Regulations: First Look

ACO regulations and related federal issuances hit the street last Thursday, after several months of waiting — from CMS, OIG, FTC, DOJ and IRS.  They cover the waterfront, ranging from the central regulation defining the structure and workings of the ACO, to  limited Stark self-referral ban and anti-kickback statute waivers in the fraud and abuse […]

Accountable care organization proposed regulations released for public comment

The long-awaited ACO regulations were released by CMS in draft form today, accompanied by a series of conference calls for different constituencies.  Here is a mirrored copy: Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations – Proposed rule. CMS Administrator Don Berwick introduced the regulations as implementing a vision of spreading the benefits of […]

Whither meaningful use of the certified, interoperable EHR?

Paul Roemer asks: Have you ever been a part of a successful launch of a national IT system that:  required a hundred thousand or so implementations of a parochial system? has been designed by 400 vendors? had 400 applications based on their own standards? has had to transport different versions of health records in and […]

Interoperable EHRs: elusive grail or within our grasp?

The indefatigable John Halamka makes a convincing case that "interoperability is implementable today with harmonized standards, appropriate security, and a service oriented architecture using the internet," and that the only thing barring the way to a fully interoperable national EHR system is resources, or incentives — the technology is there. (This conclusion begs the question: […]

Stark III partial effective date delay published today

CMS today published a rule delaying the effective date of the Stark III "stand in the shoes" rule, as it applies to AMCs and 501(c)(3) integrated health systems, for one year (i.e., until December 4, 2008). The one-year delay in the effective date of part of the Stark III rule was announced November 9, as […]