HEALTH CARE CLIENT ALERT: Proposed ACO Rule: EHR Initiatives and Privacy and Security Implications

    8 April 2011
    On March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its Proposed Rule (Rule) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Affordable Care Act, including 400+ pages of detailed proposals for implementing the Shared Savings Program. The Rule lays the foundation for building ACOs, and in doing so, emphasizes the critical role CMS continues to expect health information technology, and especially Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, to play in health care reform. However, in proposing an opt-out approach to sharing Medicare claims information, the Rule further contributes to the already mixed messaging from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding individual patient choice and data privacy, as shown by recent Office for the National Coordinator for Health (ONC) activities.