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May 19, 2008

ACE -- CMS to roll out a new physician-hospital collaboration demonstration featuring bundled payments

The federales are now pushing the latest CMS demo promoting physician hospital collaboration.  In other words, CMS is having another go at gainsharing from a slightly different angle.  The information available on the demo at CMS website includes the formal solicitation (applications due August 15).  It's known as ACE - the Acute Care Episode demo.

CMS says:

ACE Demonstration goals are to: improve quality for FFS Medicare beneficiaries, produce savings for providers, beneficiaries, and Medicare using market-based mechanisms, improve price and quality transparency for improved decision making, and increase collaboration among providers.

Applicant groups are limited to groups consisting of a hospital and one or more medical groups from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado, and the substance of the applications is limited to bundling of payments for specified cardiac and orthopedic services.  Word is that the federales want to get these demos up and running by next January.  Having been involved in developing a couple of gainsharing demonstration project applications that gained preliminary approval in the review process but that have languished without final agency approval (under both the MMA 646 and DRA 5007 demos), I wonder whether the 2009 implementation date is real.

Potential applicants interested in becoming involved in this demo -- please feel free to contact the HealthBlawger.

-- David Harlow 

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