Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials, in a final rule establishing the Medicare Shared Savings/ACO program, stuck to their guns on enabling beneficiaries participating in an ACO to opt-out of letting their claims data be shared.

"Although we have the legal authority, within the limits described previously, to share Medicare claims data with ACOs without the consent of beneficiaries, we nevertheless believe that beneficiaries should be notified of, and have control over, who has access to their personal health information for purposes of the Shared Savings Program," according to the final rule issued on Oct. 20. "Thus we proposed to require that, as part of its broader activities to notify patients that its ACO provider/supplier is participating in an ACO, the ACO must also inform beneficiaries of its ability to request claims data about them if they do not object."

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