AdvaMed: ACO final rule neglects innovation

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Following the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) issuance of the final rule Oct. 20 for establishing accountable care organizations (ACOs), the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has outlined its criticisms of the initiative in a statement released the same day.

“AdvaMed is concerned that CMS failed to address key issues in the final ACO rule that would have advanced patient care, ensured patient access to innovative treatments and technologies and avoided incentives to stint on care,” said Ann-Marie Lynch, executive vice president of AdvaMed.

“We are also concerned the rule does not address the very real danger of slowing the development of new treatments and cures. The failure to consider how innovative products play an important role in improving patient care threatens medical progress for current and future patients,” she said. “Without certain design elements, the ACO program may have the effect of limiting treatment options and discouraging physicians from adopting new advancements in care.”

Lynch said the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) failed to discuss common-sense provisions to support medical progress, despite pressure from industry stakeholders, patient groups and Congress.

“We are also disappointed that CMS rolled back rather than revamped the quality measures included in the draft rule. The final rule lacks sufficient measures of patient outcomes to assure quality of care. There are large areas of clinical practice not addressed at all—including cancer, severe arthritis, chronic pain and osteoporosis,” she said. “This rule is a missed opportunity to ensure that the sweeping changes in payment policy established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will support medical progress and assure that patients can receive the care most appropriate for their needs.”

Click here for more information about the ACO rule. The full AdvaMed statement can be found here.