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On May 17, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced 3 new initiatives developed to help health care providers develop or become involved in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).
First, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will support the Pioneer ACO model that will be available to providers this summer. This model offers a faster path for providers who have significant experience in coordinated care. CMS projects the model will save Medicare up to $430 million over 3 years. Organizations interested in applying to the Pioneer ACO Model must submit a letter of intent by June 10, 2011.
CMS is also seeking comments on development an Advance Payment ACO model that would provide additional up-front funding to providers to support forming ACOs. The Innovation Center will accept comments on the model until June 17, 2011. Comments should be sent to: advpayACO@cms.hhs.gov.
Finally, CMS will host a series of free education session about ACOs. The Accelerated Development Learning sessions are designed to educate providers interested in setting up an ACO about steps they can take to improve care delivery and how to develop an action plan that will encourage better coordinated care in their organizations. The first session is scheduled for June 20-22, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN. Individuals wishing to attend the June Accelerated Development Learning Session in person may register at https://acoregister.rti.org. Registration is on a first come, first served basis.