Doug Hastings, Chair of the Board of Directors and a Member of the Firm’s Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the Washington, D.C., office, was quoted in an article titled, “Feds Reassure Hospitals, Doctors on Cooperation Through ACOs.”
The article discussed how federal officials recently held a meeting in October in Baltimore to discuss part of the new health law that encourages the development of “accountable care organizations” that would allow doctors to team up with each other and with hospitals, in new ways, to provide medical services. According to the article, health care providers want to make sure their ACOs won’t be accused of stifling competition or trying to fix prices when they bargain with insurance companies. Insurers, meanwhile, are expressing concern that providers could use the leverage of ACOs to demand higher prices.
Hastings said that he was encouraged from what he heard at the meeting that federal officials would allow hospitals to pay performance bonuses to doctors for meeting quality targets, or share in the cost savings that the ACOs might provide.