By Daniel J. Vukelich, President, Association of Medical Device Reprocessors
I’ve been thinking about Robert Pear’s analogy, as he wrote in today’s New York Times that:

Until now, accountable care organizations were like unicorns, creatures that flourished in the imagination but proved persistently elusive in the natural world. The rules define the new entity as a team of doctors, hospitals and other providers that “work together to manage and coordinate care” for people in the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program.

With over 350 articles appearing in today’s online clips for ACO’s, it’s clear that the ACO unicorn is no more. But what’s more, millions of Americans are learning about ACOs for the first time.
For the uninitiated, anyone seeking ACO 101 style background information, read straight from the source at HHS:

  • ACO Overview Fact Sheet
  • ACO Fact Sheet Summary of Proposed Regulations
  • ACO Fact Sheet for Providers
  • ACO Fact Sheet for Consumers
  • ACO Fact Sheet on Legal Issues Around ACOs
  • ACO Fact Sheet On Quality Scoring

Do you like your ACO background information visually? Try the video from Kaiser Health News’ Jordan Rau: Video: Understanding The New HHS ACO Rule.
Looking for fraud waivers? Look here.
Unicorns no more indeed. If you’ve made it through so far, move your tassel across your mortar board. You’ve passed the class. Ready to dive in? The CMS regulation can be found here: Proposed ACO Regulation.