Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes the unique needs and challenges of rural communities and the importance of rural providers in assuring access to health care. Critical access hospitals (CAHs), federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and rural health clinics (RHCs) play an important role in the nation’s health care delivery system by serving as safety net providers of primary care and other health care services in rural and other underserved areas and for low-income beneficiaries. On March 31, 2011, CMS released proposed new rules to help doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The proposed rule includes four specific provisions designed to increase rural participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program).

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