Sunday, October 23, 2011

Perfect Timing for a Conference on Accountable Care Organizations

Frank Pasquale

The biggest news in health care last week was the release of the ACO Final Rule, governing accountable care organizations. With a great sense of timing (and some good luck), our law review at Seton Hall is sponsoring a conference this Friday that will bring together some of the leading legal, academic, and medical experts on ACOs. (We've even invited an information technology expert who can address the vital role of electronic medical records in promoting quality and efficiency.)

Why care about ACOs? Here's Jenny Gold from Kaiser Health News:

Accountable care organizations take up only seven pages of the massive new health law yet have become one of the most talked about provisions. This latest model for delivering services offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide good quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while keeping down costs. A cottage industry of consultants has sprung up to help even ordinary hospitals become the first ACOs on the block.

When the draft ACO regulation was released, there were many naysayers. But as Sarah Kliff reports, the concept is now "getting a much more positive reception." In a familiar Obama Administration pattern, the rule now "marks a victory for hospitals, clinics and large doctors' practices that have lobbied to alter draft regulations they viewed as too burdensome and financially risky."

The Seton Hall Law Review symposium will bring together those who are implementing and studying ACOs. For a good run down of presentation topics, check out our posts on the speakers at the Health Reform Watch blog.

X-Posted: Concurring Opinions.

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