Washington, DC - America's Health Insurance Plans' (AHIP) President and CEO Karen Ignagni released the following statement on the proposed regulations released today by the Department of Health and Human Services on accountable care organizations (ACOs):
"The proposed regulations issued today on accountable care organizations (ACOs) advance the national discussion about how to move the health care system away from the outdated fee-for-service system to one that incentivizes quality, value, and better health outcomes for patients.
"All across the country, health plans have partnered with providers to change payment models to promote and reward safe, high-quality, patient-centered care. By establishing clear quality goals, tracking progress, and rewarding success, these programs are yielding significant results in better health outcomes and lower costs for patients and employers.
"Through the CMS Innovation Center, there is an opportunity for Medicare and Medicaid to build on the successes of the innovative payment systems that exist in the private marketplace today to improve the quality and safety of patient care and help put the health care system on a sustainable path.
"We remain concerned that ACOs could accelerate the trend of provider consolidation that drives up medical prices and result in additional cost-shifting to families and employers with private coverage. However, we appreciate that CMS, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission recognize the potential for consumer harm and are taking steps to address this issue with proposed guidelines for evaluating ACOs and their potential impact on consolidation within the marketplace.
"We are currently reviewing the proposed guidelines and regulations on ACOs and will be providing further comment in the near future."
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