Berwick: ACO rule due out soon

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick last week promised that his office will "imminently" issue the long-awaited proposed rule for accountable care organizations, Health Data Management reports.

The rule, which would provide more specifics on how the ACOs are to work, was initially supposed to come out in Q4 2010, but was delayed, allegedly by internal squabbles between CMS managed care and career staff over the best payment models.

In an attempt to reframe the debate about the health reform, Berwick recast the Affordable Care Act--which has come under significant attack and calls for a repeal--as a response to changing social conditions, especially Baby Boomers' demanding more medical accountability. And he panned out, saying it has broader implications, given that healthcare is "inexorably tied to our national economic condition" and global economy.

Berwick noted that the reform means no "Sword of Damocles" will hang over the heads of the uninsured and Americans with pre-existing conditions who could not get insurance.

To learn more:
- read the Health Data Management article

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