CMS Interfering in Health Provider Board Rooms

06/01/2011 - 11:10am

Obamacare establishes the Medicare Shared Savings Program which encourages the formation of health networks called Accountable Care Organizations. The goal of these organizations is to reduce unnecessary procedures and save money by coordinating the care of patients within the ACO.

The program encourages the formation of these organizations by giving bonuses to participating ACOs for generating savings beyond certain targets. The bonus will be a percentage of the amount saved.

Under the proposed rule, an ACO that wishes to participate in the Shared Savings Program must have at least one Medicare beneficiary on its board of directors.[1] CMS laments the lack of control that Medicare beneficiaries have over health provider organizations. But they do not consider that all patients—whether Medicare beneficiaries or otherwise, have the ultimate power of market choice.

The radical ideology of the leadership at CMS is demonstrated in this: CMS recognizes that placing a Medicare beneficiary on a board of directors “will not necessarily guarantee outcomes that are in line with the goals of the Shared Savings Program,” and yet CMS still insists on issuing this mandate.[2]

CMS seems to believe its role is even broader than their congressional mandate to responsibly oversee Medicare and Medicaid. Since Donald Berwick became Administrator, CMS has developed the following “vision statement”:

CMS is a major force and a trustworthy partner for the continual improvement of health and health care for all Americans.[3]

CMS wants more power than they have been given. Instead of being content with responsibly administering Medicare and Medicaid, CMS seems want to control the entire health industry.

The comment period for this regulation ends June 6, 2010 at 5pm. Click here now, to tell the Obama Administration what you think of the regulation. To read more about this regulation, go to our ACO regulation page and see our related articles below.

[1] 76 Fed. Reg. 19,542, 19,549-50.

[2] 76 Fed. Reg. 19,549-50.

[3] Donald Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Remarks at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform event: Achieving Better Care at Lower Costs through Accountable Care Organizations (Feb. 1, 2011) page 10 of the transcript available at