InformationWeek, May 27, 2011

As the drive to design a workable accountable care organization model gets under way, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced several Affordable Care Act initiatives that require a robust health IT infrastructure to support doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers in improving care with Medicare through ACOs. The new ACO models could save Medicare up to $430 million, CMS said. Among the initiatives introduced is the Pioneer ACO Model, an ACO model that will be available to providers this summer and is designed for advanced organizations ready to participate in shared savings. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will support this model, CMS said. The Innovation Center released a request for applications last week for the Pioneer ACO Model, which provides a faster path for mature ACOs that have already begun coordinating care for patients and are ready to move forward.

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