CMS Delivers Key Win for ACOs in Emergency Rule

CMS on Thursday finalized a wide range of temporary Medicare and Medicaid changes in response to the COVID-10 pandemic, including some big wins for accountable care organizations. State-approved Medicare providers can now order COVID-19 serology tests, and Medicare will pay providers to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing under the physician fee schedule and outpatient prospective payment system. Other changes include new exceptions for the hospital value-based purchasing program, delayed reporting requirements for post-acute care facilities and a one-year delay of some requirements for the merit-based incentive payment system, or MIPS. ACOs also earned important victories. Provider groups, including the American Hospital Association and the National Association of ACOs, asked Congress and the Trump administration last month “to shield participants in ACOs and other value-based payment models from financial penalties because of costs incurred responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a NAACOS statement last month.

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