Providers are concerned that their patients will balk when told Medicare officials have added them to an ACO and some may refuse to allow their clinicians to exchange their medical information, said Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director of the CMS.
“We're hearing a lot of different views on that decision,” Blum told attendees Monday at the College of American Pathologists' annual policy meeting in Washington, about the proposed rule to allow ACO patients to refuse sharing of their clinical data between an ACO's clinicians.
Blum told Modern Healthcare in a brief interview the agency expects that most patients ultimately will allow the ACO to which they are assigned to share their information among its various clinician members.
“Most people want to have their primary-care doctor to share their information with others if it's going to improve their care,” Blum said.
To encourage patients in that regard, he said, the CMS plans various mailings to Medicare beneficiaries that will educate them about ACOs' design and intent.
See our video with Jonathan Blum discussing meaningful use.