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Spotlight on ACOs

March 31, 2021 | Daily News

CMS pushed back its request for Accountable Care Organizations to submit applications to the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model by a year, until spring 2022, to the disappointment of the ACOs.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission staff found that rural beneficiaries have a harder time accessing specialty care than do urban beneficiaries, though the two groups reported similar satisfaction with overall care, and that a decline in inpatient admissions preceded rural hospital closures.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

Congress’ Medicare pay advisors generally favored telling HHS to pare down the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s collection of demonstrations and focus on a smaller number of more coordinated models -- though Chair Michael Chernew said the commission has a lot of work to do on alternative payment models.

March 02, 2021 | Daily News

Former Obama administration health staffer and Affordable Care Act architect Elizabeth Fowler officially took the helm of CMS’ powerful Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Tuesday (March 2), shortly after the innovation center put the Trump-era's Geographic Direct Contracting model on hold and stakeholders proposed ways for the center to revamp the Radiation Oncology demo.

December 28, 2020 | Daily News

The Center for Medicare Advocacy and the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations are pushing the incoming Biden administration to halt a last-minute effort by the Trump administration to put in place a Medicare geographic direct contracting option -- which the Commonwealth Fund has called one of the biggest changes to Medicare since managed care.

December 21, 2020 | Daily News

As part of the year-end package, lawmakers plan to mitigate effects of changes to the 2021 physician fee schedule that would raise pay for some while drastically cutting pay for others, according to a House Ways & Means Republican summary, and the bill also is expected to extend the Medicare sequester moratorium for three months -- a shorter extension than sought by providers.

November 24, 2020 | Daily News

CMS has pushed back the deadline for providers to update their pay information and claim 2018 alternative pay model bonuses to Dec. 13, after providers asked the agency to get rid of the earlier Nov. 13 deadline or at least push it out to the end of the year.

November 12, 2020 | Daily News

The Medical Group Management Association wants CMS to get rid of -- or at the very least push back -- a deadline for providers to claim their 2018 alternative pay model bonuses.

August 03, 2020 | Daily News

Long-awaited legislation to tweak accountable care organizations – and in some cases walk back aspects of the administration's program revamp – was recently introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) -- though some lobbyists say it’s unlikely Congress will have the appetite to take up the bill as much of lawmakers’ focus has been on the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 17, 2020 | Daily News

The non-partisan, non-profit United States of Care, founded by former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and other health policy experts such as former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, urge Congress to include in the upcoming COVID-19 relief bill funding for a Health Care Resilience Program that would grant advanced payments or loan forgiveness to providers who agree to accelerate their transition to value-based care.

July 13, 2020 | Daily News

Accountable care organizations are in favor of increased use of telehealth during the public health emergency but are raising concerns that such e-visits may attach beneficiaries to ACOs without continued engagement.

June 03, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Wednesday (June 3) said, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will extend some innovation center models, including the Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations, while delaying the start date for others.

May 20, 2020 | Daily News

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations is urging CMS to extend the Next Generation ACO demo for at least a year -- especially given issues stakeholders have run into with the Direct Contracting model that CMS said could act as the next step for Next Generation ACOs -- and to protect those in the demo from negative side effects of COVID-19.

May 14, 2020 | Daily News

Accountable care organizations, health systems, doctors, teaching hospitals and others are pleased with CMS’ moves to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on ACOs, but they also say more steps could be taken to keep the providers interested in value-based pay.

April 30, 2020 | Daily News

CMS will mitigate losses by accountable care organizations from January until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the agency says in broad interim final rule released Thursday (April 30), and the agency also says it will exclude beneficiaries’ COVID-19 inpatient care episodes from ACO spending, give ACOs the option not to take on increased risk in 2021, allow ACOs with expiring contracts to extend them through 2021 and use telehealth claims to help assign beneficiaries to the correct ACOs.

April 28, 2020 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association is pressing CMS to go beyond the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy it put in place for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement demonstration and hold hospitals harmless for any penalties in the program in 2020 due to COVID-19.

April 23, 2020 | Daily News

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are pressing CMS to go further with relief for accountable care organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and waive the providers’ losses they might otherwise have to repay -- a step that the National Association of ACOs has urged both Congress and CMS to consider.

March 31, 2020 | Daily News

CMS is easing the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policies for accountable care organizations and the hip-and-knee replacement demonstration, as well as adding flexibility to the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program in an interim final rule unveiled Monday (March 30).

March 31, 2020 | Daily News

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations estimates the COVID-19 pandemic could cost Medicare up to $115.4 billion over the next year, and derail Medicare ACOs.

March 23, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Sunday (March 22) announced exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs -- including accountable care organizations and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System -- but the agency hasn’t yet laid out what it will do about 2020 data for MIPS and ACOs.