This Week – June 10, 2011

This Week in Washington DC:

  1. ACG Submits Comment Letter on ACO Regulation
  2. Is Joining an ACO Right for You?

ACG Provides Comment to Proposed ACO Rule
On Monday, ACG and ASGE submitted a joint comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule on accountable care organizations (ACOs). CMS is required by Congress under the health reform law to develop and implement a “Medicare shared savings” health care delivery and reimbursement model. In March, CMS released this proposed regulation pursuant to this mandate. However, the rule has been met with much criticism and many medical organizations, including the ACG and ASGE, urge CMS to make substantial changes to this ACO proposal. ACG believes the current regulation provides very little incentive for the GI clinician to join an ACO and questions whether an ACO formed under this current proposal would even want to include a GI clinician.

Please click here to read the ACG-ASGE letter to CMS

Questions to Ask When Considering an ACO
In April, ACG released a detailed summary of CMS’s proposed rule on ACOs. Members are encouraged to review the summary to learn more about the proposed ACO regulation, the bonus payments, as well as the liability for failing to meet Medicare beneficiary cost-targets and quality reporting requirements.

In recognizing that the GI clinician is busy, ACG also created a concise issue-paper containing questions members should ask when contemplating whether to join or participate in an ACO. This does not provide every detail of the ACO models and proposal. For that, members are encouraged to review the detailed summary of the proposed rule. However, this document is designed to highlight certain issues the GI clinician should be mindful of when deciding whether to join or participate in an ACO.

Should I join an ACO?

Summary of CMS Proposed Rule on ACOs

ACG will continue to educate members on ACOs and other delivery of care models CMS proposes in the near future and fight for structures that are in the interest of GI clinicians and their patients.

Please stay tuned for further updates. Please also share and discuss your thoughts with fellow ACG members on the ACG GI Circle. To login and share your comments, visit If you have not yet activated your ACG GI Circle account, please email us at

Contact Brad Conway, VP Public Policy, with any questions or for more information.

Brad Conway