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CMS Taps 27 ACOs to Start Shared Savings Program

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2012

In response to a question, Blum said that all the organizations selected to be official ACOs under the CMS model should have very strong relationships with post-discharge services such as long-term care facilities.

"To me, any ACO that's going to be successful needs think very proactively and needs to think very strategically about how they provide care for those patients who require post acute care services to ensure that patients stay healthy, and that they avoid unnecessary rehospitalization," he said.

Asked what might happen to the ACO model should the Affordable Care Act be struck down by the Supreme Court, Blum replied: "I'm not a lawyer or a constitutional scholar, so I'll defer that question to those who are. But we, as an agency, are confident that the law will be upheld.

"And I think today's announcement shows there's tremendous interest in the healthcare provider community to help us change the delivery of care."

Blum also pointed to "very positive signs" that there will be a large number of applications for the third ACO model start date of Jan. 1, 2013.

The administration has rejected only about three or four applications, although an undisclosed number who applied for the April 1 start date decided they needed more time to complete the application process, and are in line to begin July 1, he said.

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