On March 31, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued long-awaited proposed regulations (Proposed Rule) on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) -- a new delivery and payment model aimed at improving the health of Medicare beneficiaries while reducing the rate of growth in health care spending. ACOs were authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Proposed Rule is subject to a public comment period and possible modifications by HHS based on those comments before it becomes final. The public comment period expires 60 days from the scheduled April 7, 2011 date of publication.
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