In the world of healthcare, ACOs or Accountable Care Organization have only recently been creating a huge buzz. Are they already in jeopardy?
ACO’s may already be at risk, due to recent budget cutting measures passed by the House of Representatives that would restructure Medicare and Medicaid. If the Ryan budget is fully passed, it will likely start the countdown to the end of Accountable Care Organizations, which were created under the Obamacare law.
Currently Medicare is a “fee for service system” where healthcare providers are paid for each service rendered. At it’s current rate of reimbursement government spending on Medicare increases 7.2 percent each year and is projected to consume every dollar produced in the United States in only a few years. To try and prevent this, the Ryan budget begins a slow transition away from the current fee for service system to a voucher program that would allow seniors to buy private insurance free of charge.
This move is expected to save billions of dollars in Medicare spending and will guarantee coverage for seniors who otherwise will find themselves exposed when the program runs out of money, while still leaving coverage for those currently on Medicare or nearing retirement unchanged.
As ACOs are currently structured, providers in ACOs receive a portion of every dollar they are able to save Medicare in the form of a bonus. Under the proposed plan however Medicare would only be buying insurance for people not paying doctors directly, removing the main draw of an ACO for doctors and hospitals ultimately rendering ACOs a thing of the past.
So are ACOs almost a thing of the past before they even become reality? Chime in and let us know what think–post a comment below or on our Facebook page.