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Berwick Pitches ACO Candidates

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 24, 2011

Donald Berwick, MD, traveled to Minneapolis this week to deliver a combination pep talk and plea for participation to the physicians and healthcare executives gathered for first accelerated development learning session on accountable care organizations.

The administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services said the agency intends to "issue an invitation to organizations that really want to create far better patient care, and who will do that by redesigning systems, investing in coordination, and becoming more patient-centered than they have ever been before. And, we want to invite organizations interested in making those changes now, not at some distant, vague time in the future. We need them now."

It's no secret that through public comments hospitals and other provider groups objected so strenuously to the risk and capital outlay requirements in the first incarnation of ACOs that CMS reengineered the program to acknowledge the preparation necessary to fully engage as an ACO.


Webcast: Creating an ACO Marketing Language: July 27, 2011, Register today.


The accelerated learning sessions are part of the CMS marketing effort to entice ACO participation. The goal of the sessions is to help potential ACO members to identify organization-specific goals to improve care delivery, improve health and reduce costs, and to develop an action plan for establishing essential ACO functions.

"We know that different organizations are at different stages in their ability to move toward an ACO model. We want to try to meet you where you are. Our hope is to offer models of participation to encourage organizations across the spectrum of readiness," said Berwick.

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