GOP senators call for CMS to abandon Medicare ACO plans

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 6, 2011

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Seven Republican senators have called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to scrap its current plans to develop an accountable care organization payment model that uses shared savings to encourage better care coordination.

"Unfortunately, based on the feedback we have from providers around the country, we conclude that the proposed ACO regulation will fail to accomplish its purpose," the senators wrote in the May 24 letter. "Therefore, we respectfully ask that you withdraw this proposed rule and re-engage experienced stakeholders to craft a new rule that fulfills the promise of ACOs."

The letter was signed by Republican Sens. Tom Coburn, MD (Okla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Pat Roberts (Kan.). They cited concerns from participants in the CMS physician group practice demonstration, which tested an ACO-type model, as a reason to start over. The physician groups have expressed "serious reservations" about the CMS proposal, the senators said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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