The Affordable Care Act faced its third appeals court challenge, the biggest and most important to date. This case, brought by 26 states, centers around the constitutionality of the individual mandate, as well as the massive expansion of Medicaid. The judges in the case didn’t seem persuaded to toss the law or deem its mandate unconstitutional, at least according to experts who observed the oral arguments in Atlanta. However, a final ruling is not expected for several months.And physicans and hospitals aren’t biting when it comes to the Pioneer model for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The Pioneer program, which has been offered as a sort of olive branch to health care providers unhappy with the proposed ACO rules, presents a fast track to Medicare shared savings for those who are already functioning under a coordinated care system. Medicare officials extended the deadline for applying to Pioneer by about a month — most likely prompted by the negative feedback on the ACO proposal.
And a plus in this week’s edition: We preview the upcoming annual House of Delegates meeting of the American Medical Association. Take a listen to the Policy & Practice podcast.
— Frances Correa (on Twitter @FMCReporting)