Cancer ACO on the horizon?

We have talked before about ACOs (more info here and here and here). US Oncology today announced plans to develop a cancer-related physician-payor risk contracting model. Check it out.

UPDATE: Health Finance News picked up on this story on Sept. 2. Here is an excerpt:

The initiative comes at a time when providers across the country are preparing for the new landscape expected under the Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pursue alternatives to the fee-for-service model through its Medicare Innovation Center, as well as its Medicare Shared Savings Program slated for 2012, whereby Medicare will implement accountable care organizations.

Due to the size of its physician network, which numbers more than 900 oncologists, along with an electronic health record that includes more than 1.6 million patient charts, US Oncology and Milliman officials see this data as the foundation of creating effective risk-based contracts.

“Physician-led organizations are ideally positioned to assess and balance the clinical, quality and cost demands of today’s healthcare environment,” said Bruce Pyenson, principal and consulting actuary of New York-based Milliman. Through Milliman’s work with US Oncology, Pyenson said they can “help oncologists create the healthcare delivery and reimbursement models of the future.”

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