In an effort to rework the proposed structure of, and offer further guidance on the formation of, Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission today issued interim final rules with comment periods and final policy statements regarding the implementation of Medicare ACOs.

In 2010, as part of health reform the Affordable Care Act created Medicare ACOs as a vehicle to coordinate care, management, and payment throughout all stages of a patient's care with multiple health care providers. The newly released regulations and policy statements help to define how ACOs will function, how they will be organized, and what waivers will be necessary existing antitrust, physician self referral, anti-kickback, and civil monetary penalty laws. The interim final regulations will be published in the Federal Register on November 2, 2011.

Read the text of the Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations regulations

Read the text of the Final Waivers In Connection with the Shared Savings Program

Read the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Joint Policy Statement

Read the CMS Press Release