CMSs Final Rule on Accountable Care Organizations
By James F. Owens, Paul A. Gomez & Josh R. Hill
On October 20, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule (the Final Rule) regarding the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the implementation of the Shared Savings Program (the Program). The Final Rule takes into account the many comments received by CMS in response to its ACO proposed rules, which were issued on March 31, 2011 and were published in the April 7, 2011 Federal Register (the Proposed Rules). In connection with the Final Rule, CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General announced an interim final rule regarding the waiver of fraud and abuse laws for ACOs, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission released an ACO antitrust policy statement, and the IRS issued further ACO-related guidance as well. The Final Rule will be published in the November 2, 2011 Federal Register.