CMS seeks rural hospitals for gainsharing program

CMS has begun recruiting rural hospitals for a demonstration project which will examine the impact of gainsharing projects on such hospitals. (Gainsharing refers to programs under which hospitals pay physicians a share of any savings generated by mutual quality and efficiency-improvement efforts.) Under the gainsharing program, the hospitals will be asked to provide their own measures of whether they've managed to improve quality and efficiency of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The rural hospitals will have until Sept. 4 to apply. By the way, don't be surprised if the program description documents include dates from last year; CMS had attempted to roll out a similar program in 2006, but the effort didn't gel, so the agency is trying again.

The new gainsharing program is part of CMS's ongoing efforts to improve care through new incentive payments, the most visible of which is probably its ongoing hospital pay-for-performance initiative.

To learn more about CMS's plans:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)
- read the CMS request for participants (.pdf)

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