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Several federal agencies have just issued much awaited proposed guidance regarding Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The guidance includes the following:

1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued proposed regulations that would establish accountable care organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The CMS proposed rule is available online at http://www.cms.gov/sharedsavingsprogram

2. CMS and HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) jointly issued a notice with comment period outlining proposals for waivers under the Stark law, the anti-kickback statute, and certain provisions of the civil monetary penalty law in connection with the Shared Savings Program. The joint notice with comment period is available online at http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

3. The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice jointly issued a "Proposed Statement of Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program" (Antitrust Policy Statement). The Antitrust Policy Statement is available online at: http://www.ftc.gov/opp/aco/

4. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a notice requesting comments regarding the need for guidance on participation by tax-exempt organizations in the Shared Savings Program through ACOs. The IRS notice is available online at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=222814,00.html