The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a notice that will establish a system of collecting and using Medicare beneficiary information for those who participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The notice – published in the Federal Register on September 19 – puts forth a new database that will collect personally identifiable information (PII) about those who participate in an ACO or those whose PII is used to determine eligibility of an ACO to participate in such a shared savings program.

Required by the Privacy Act of 1974 (which governs how federal agencies can use PII without individuals’ consent), the CMS notice was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The agency noted that should it receive relevant comments it will revise its notice.

On a similar note, the healthcare industry is still awaiting the release of the final ACO rule by CMS – the timing of which continues to remain uncertain.