The CMS has released a fact sheet (PDF) detailing the exceptions to the proposed regulations for accountable care organizations that would affecting small ACOs in rural communities.
CMS details ACO rule exceptions for rural providers
For instance, according to the proposed rules, released in March, ACOs with fewer than 10,000 assigned beneficiaries would be exempt from a required 2% savings threshold.
Additionally, the CMS proposes using a sliding scale based on number of assigned beneficiaries, to determine the confidence interval used to set an ACO's minimum savings rate.
“ACOs with the minimum number of 5,000 assigned beneficiaries would have a minimum savings rate based on a 90% confidence interval while an ACO with 50,000 assigned beneficiaries would have a minimum savings rate based on a 99% confidence interval,” according to the fact sheet. “This proposal recognizes the higher uncertainty regarding expenditures for smaller ACOs.”
The fact sheet also highlighted other special provisions, including allowing certain critical-access hospitals to form their own ACOs, and special incentives created to encourage participation from federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics.
The clarification comes as many rural providers are predicting that their cash-strapped budgets will make establishing an ACO difficult.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.