The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association became the latest medical associations to release principles for emerging networks known as accountable care organizations.
Doc associations offer principles for ACOs
The groups released a jointly endorsed list of structural and payments principles (PDF) for development of accountable care groups.
Medicare will begin to pay providers in 2012 under the accountable care model, which is broadly defined as provider networks that are eligible for bonus payments tied to quality and cost-control targets. Providers and commercial insurers have also announced efforts to create ACOs outside of Medicare.
The principles released by the four physician groups called for “significant and equitable” representation of primary care and specialists in ACO leadership. ACO organization, administration and clinical and legal processes, including payment and risk adjustment, should be public, the groups said. Patients and family should have input and health and wellness incentives under the networks, and their participation, as well as that of doctors and other professionals, should be voluntary, the principles said.
National medical home certification should result in additional financial incentives for ACOs, the groups said. The groups endorsed the use of multiple payment models, including partial capitation, but said doctors and other professionals who do not clearly agree to “insurance risk” should be protected from such a risk.
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