According to Congressional Quarterly (”CQ”), Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, acknowledged this week that federal officials will have to sort through complicated and contentious issues, and, identified the following questions that remain unanswered:
1. How will the quality of care for patients be measured?
2. How will antitrust laws be relaxed so that providers can cooperate without being accused of monopolistic behavior?
3. What kind of financial risk will providers have to assume in order to form an ACO?
4. How can CMS officials make sure that ACOs don’t cherry-pick and recruit the healthiest patients to be part of a group, leaving sicker patients out of the network?
5. How will patients be assigned to the ACO?
6. When different medical groups join together, how can providers make sure that they’re protecting patients’ privacy?
7. How can small practices get the capital to operate an ACO?
For video and a full transcript of his remarks and others presented at the recent conference on ACOs hosted by the Brookings Institute, go here: