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In this issue
Accountable Care Organizations Series
When analyzing this new aspect of healthcare, there is a proverb to keep in mind,

            “I KEEP six honest serving-men, (They taught me all I knew); Their names are
            What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”

                  “The Elephant’s Child” By Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories, New York, NY:
                  Garden City, 1912.

Under the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) were touted as the new redeemer of the American healthcare industry, promising to lower costs and increase quality for patients and providers. Within the context of these challenging expectations, significant questions have arisen among key industry stakeholders. Health Capital Topics’ new series will explore many of the questions surrounding ACOs within the framework of Kipling’s proverb, i.e. why, what, who, where, when, and how.

PDF Icon Small Accountable Care Organizations Series: Why Do We Need ACOs?
The current structure of Accountable Care Organization arose in 2006 and was brought into mainstream healthcare reform efforts in 2010 with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This article examines the healthcare environment and the prominence of ACO’s prior to the healthcare reform legislation and endeavors to answer the question: Why Do We Need ACOs? (Read more...)

PDF Icon Medicare Advantage Plans Squeezed in 2012 Under Healthcare Reform
Government subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans will be reduced under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act providing an estimated savings of $135 billion. Although Medicare Advantage plans have increased in popularity over the years, participation by both Medicare beneficiaries and insurance plans may be affected leading to an uncertain future for this popular Medicare option. (Read more...)

PDF Icon CMS Finalizes Rule on Telemedicine
On May 5, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a final rule on telemedicine credentialing and privileging which may help facilitate the implementation of this innovative medicine at rural hospitals. Under the new rule, hospitals may rely on the privileges and credentials of the remote-site hospital that grants privileges to a physician seeking to provide telemedicine services at a different institution. This streamlined process may lessen the burden of credentialing physicians for rural hospitals and allow patients quicker and better access to care. (Read more...)

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