Twelve organizations, including the AHA, Friday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to extend the Feb. 19 deadline for accountable care organizations applying to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program beginning July 1. “Due to the complexity of CMS’s new final rule for the program published in the Federal Register on Dec. 31, 2018, many existing ACOs and those in the process of formation are still actively working to understand how they may successfully participate in the program,” the groups wrote. “Additional time is needed to ensure ACOs may evaluate their options and complete the administrative and legal requirements of the application. … We understand the time constraints CMS must operate within but ask that you keep in mind that this truncated timeline could harm program participation and we encourage the agency to consider a March 29, 2019 deadline. Our recommendation reflects our unified desire to see the MSSP maintain long-term sustainability necessary to enhance care coordination for millions of Medicare beneficiaries, lower the growth rate of health care spending and improve quality in the Medicare program.”
 

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