February 2, 2023

The privatization of Medicare

Common Dreams -  On January 17, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation  announced 48 new model participants in a controversial pilot program called Accountable Care Organization: Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health, better known as ACO REACH. CMMI, created by the Affordable Care Act, is supposed to test alternative payment models for Traditional Medicare to lower costs and improve, or at least not worsen, the care of 30 million seniors and people with disabilities.

The program, launched in the waning days of the Trump Administration as Direct Contracting, was greenlighted by the Biden Administration in 2021 and renamed ACO REACH in 2022. The model, which started with 53 contracting entities under Trump has grown to 132 participants with 131,772 health care practitioners and organizations providing care to over 2 million beneficiaries on Traditional Medicare under President Biden. Startling research found many of the ACO REACH participants have a history of Medicare fraud. Nevertheless, Medicare continues to sign contracts with them.

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