The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires, under Section 3022, that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) “establish a shared savings program that promotes accountability for a patient population and coordinates items and services under Medicare parts A and B, and encourages investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes for high quality and efficient service delivery.” The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), which is intended to improve quality of care while containing costs, will begin by January 1, 2012. Groups of providers, healthcare organizations and other entities deemed appropriate by the Secretary of HHS may form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in order to qualify for payments or shared savings by managing and coordinating care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.

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