Federal regulators are starting to think about how the new accountable care organizations (ACOs) might handle patients’ personally identifiable information (PII).
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) talks about the new system of ACO records in a notice set to appear Monday in the Federal Register.
CMS is publishing the notice to comply with the requirements of the federal Privacy Act of 1974.
Section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) calls for CMS’ parent, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to test whether ACOs – groups of providers that share financial responsibility for caring for a whole patient, rather than getting paid mostly on a fee-for-service basis – can help hold down traditional Medicare program costs while improving the quality of care.
CMS is setting up a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and a Pioneer ACO Model program to carry out PPACA Section 3022.
The ACO record system will include information about Medicare enrollees in ACOs, providers or suppliers involved with ACOs, key leaders and managers of an ACO and ACO contact people, officials say.
The records in the system will include claim records, enrollees’ Social Security numbers, ACO eligibility records, and a variety of ACO contact information, such as the Social Security numbers of ACO providers that are sole proprietorships, officials say.