The Affordable Care Act introduced many policies and regulations which will have immediate, short-term and long-term effects on the Long-Term Care industry. Most relevant to your buildings’ bottom line are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). What is the best way to stay on top of the ever evolving world of ACOs and what immediate actions should you take to protect your facility in this new world?
First, it is important to understand that all ACOs are structured differently. Some might be established by hospitals, while others by physician groups. Regardless of an ACO’s leadership, differences will also exist in the payment structure. An ACO can choose between three different models as it relates to Medicare reimbursement and shared savings plans. The key is not to know how every single ACO works, but rather to focus on the ACOs that will directly affect your facilities. As new ACOs are approved and announced via CMS, find out which ones are in your service area, which ones are potential referrals, and which models relevant ACOs are following.
Setting up email alerts to receive up-to-date announcements is a great way to make sure you are aware of developments in your area. Google has a free email alert service that can be set up here. Keywords to set alerts for are: ACO, CMS, Shared Savings, and Accountable Care Organizations.