Attorneys Don Stuart and Kim Looney Author Chapters in  “The ACO Handbook: A Guide to Accountable Care Organizations, Second Edition”


Don Stuart, a partner in Waller’s Tax Practice Group and current Chair of the Tax and Finance Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), and Kim Looney, partner in the firm’s Healthcare Compliance and Operations group, are authors on two chapters in the AHLA’s new publication The ACO Handbook: A Guide to Accountable Care Organizations, Second Edition.

Stuart co-authored the chapter entitled “Tax Implications of Accountable Care Organizations”, which covers the tax considerations of forming and participating in an ACO, including those ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and also in commercial shared savings arrangements. Looney authored the chapter entitled “ACO Best Practices,” which identifies the key strategies all ACOs must consider as they develop and implement their strategies.

While the first edition of this popular handbook provided a much-needed understanding of the implementing regulations for establishing ACOs – several years later, there is a growing body of experience that must be taken into account by anyone involved in this area. Taking on financial risk for healthcare quality within an ACO requires careful consideration, planning and guidance. The Handbook will help you and your clients weigh the merits of creating an ACO, and help guide you toward a better understanding of the intricacies.

The book analyzes various components of an optimized delivery system, and examines issues ranging from the financial aspects of ACOs to the unique nature of academic medical center, pediatric, and commercial ACOs. Coverage includes:

  • New chapters examining compliance plans, non-Medicare commercial ACOs, best practices and payer perspectives
  • A review of integration models used by hospitals and physicians prior to enactment of the ACA
  • Examinations of cost containment in the “Medical Home”
  • Waivers by the federal government of aspects of the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute and certain provisions of the civil monetary penalty law (Gainsharing CMP)
  • The implications for various organizations in their pursuit of integration and coordination of services, whether as an ACO or otherwise
  • The need for ACOs to understand health information technology, antitrust, financing and risk-sharing issues will all be critical to the operation and success of ACOs

For more information or to order, visit the AHLA bookstore at or call +1 (800) 533-1637.