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On October 5, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission will co-host a workshop on several issues associated with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), organizations authorized by the new Affordable Care Act that seek to deliver high-quality and efficient health care services to consumers. Joining the FTC in hosting the event are the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

The workshop, which will be held at CMS Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, is free and open to the public. To facilitate providers’ efforts to develop ACOs that will provide high quality, lower-cost care to their patients, the workshop will address and solicit public comments on the legal issues raised by various ACO models being considered by health care providers. Physicians, physician associations, hospitals, health systems, payers, consumers, and other interested parties are invited to participate in the workshop.

The agencies will publish a Federal Register notice shortly that will include a more in-depth explanation of the topics to be covered during the day-long workshop, including the antitrust, physician self-referral, anti-kickback, and civil monetary penalty laws related to ACOs. The notice also will include information about how to register for the workshop.

Anyone interested in submitting comments for inclusion in workshop discussions must do so by September 27, 2010. Instructions on how to submit comments will be provided in the Federal Register notice.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.


(HC FYI.wpd)

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