The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is asking whether it needs to issue new guidance to help tax-exempt health care organizations participate in the new Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organization (ACO) initiative.
The IRS has put out a call for comments in IRS Notice 2011-20.
An ACO is supposed to be a vehicle for paying teams of health care providers to provide and manage care for whole patients, instead of paying for care one service at a time.
Section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires Medicare to set up a Medicare Shared Savings Program that will promote use of Medicare ACOs starting in 2012.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish an ACO proposed rule and notice in the Federal Register April 7.
In theory, the people and entities that participate in an ACO should have a financial incentive to control costs for all participants in the ACO.