Earlier this year, the AAAAI submitted comments to proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revisions to Accountable Care Organization (ACO) regulations addressing concerns for allergist/immunologists affiliated with an ACO, as well as for the specialist whose practice may be affected by ACOs. Per the AAAAI’s request, CMS finalized that the specialty would be excluded from step 2 of the beneficiary assignment process, which means AAAAI members will not be forced into exclusivity with one Medicare ACO. This is a significant win. View a summary prepared by Hart Health Strategies of the major final actions described in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO final rule.
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a healthcare organization structured specifically to participate in a payment and care delivery model that seeks to reduce cost and improve care. It is comprised of health care providers who coordinate the care of a group of patients. Many are concerned that one impact of ACOs may be that these groups will limit referrals to specialists outside of the ACO.
The AAAAI submitted comments in January 2015 to proposed CMS revisions to ACO Regulations addressing concerns for allergist/immunologists affiliated with an ACO, as well as for the specialist whose practice may be affected by ACOs. The AAAAI maintains that early intervention and referral to A/I physicians drastically limits the development and progression of certain chronic illnesses, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, and primary immune deficiencies. Patient access to information and choice of specialists was also emphasized, along with addressing a range of technical issues around attribution and payment.
MSSP ACO Collaboration Letter
MSSP ACO Collaboration Letter Summary
AAAAI ACO Proposed Rule Comment Response