AMA Wire

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For Physicians

CMS hosts calls on applying for Medicare ACO program

Physicians who are thinking about participating in Medicare's 2014 accountable care organization (ACO) program should plan to participate in two April conference calls.

Hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the calls will offer guidance for those who are preparing to submit an application to become an ACO under the Medicare Shared Savings Program starting Jan. 1.

The first call, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time April 9, will explain what physicians can do now to prepare for the application process, including key deadlines and first steps. Register today.

The second call, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time April 23, will offer tips for completing a successful application. Register for the call.

Registration for both calls will close at noon Eastern time the day of the call or when space is full.

The AMA was instrumental in securing key changes to Medicare's ACO rules so that interested physicians could participate in the program. About half of the ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program today are physician-led.

Visit the AMA's Web page on next generation delivery and payment models to access a variety of resources on ACOs and other innovations.

Navigate rules of the road for self-referral practices

An AMA toolkit helps physicians identify a wide variety of permissible referral arrangements while avoiding the kinds of self-referrals that are prohibited by law.

The "Stark Law Rules of the Road" toolkit can help physicians comply with the complex set of self-referral regulations, sometimes referred to as the "Stark law." An easy-to-use interactive tool guides physicians through six questions to determine how the Stark law might apply to them. The tool also defines key terms and explains a number of exceptions to the law that permit certain self-referrals.

For examples of how to interpret the law, the toolkit also provides a detailed overview document, which outlines some of the law's main requirements and exceptions.