21 ACOs Participating in the New Next Generation Model, HHS Announces

Medicare's accountable care organization (ACO) initiatives now include a total of 477 participants across 4 different model types, including the 21 just announced as part of the new Next Generation ACO Model.

Medicare's accountable care organization (ACO) initiatives now include a total of 477 ACOs across 4 different model types: Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), Pioneer ACO Model, Next Generation ACO Model, and the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model.

The Next Generation model is the latest addition to CMS’ ACO initiatives to improve the care patients receive in the US healthcare system while lowering costs. There are 21 participants, including Beacon Health, Henry Ford Physician ACO, and Trinity Health ACO.

As part of the Next Generation mode, the participating ACOs already have significant experience coordinating care through other initiatives, such as MSSP and the Pioneer model. The Next Generation model allows provider groups to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward in accordance with CMS’ goal of tying 20% of traditional Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of this year.

The 477 Medicare ACOs serve nearly 8.9 million beneficiaries and represent 49 states and the District of Columbia.

“Americans will get better care and we will spend our health care dollars more wisely because these hospitals and providers have made a commitment to change how they do business and work with patients,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement. “We are moving Medicare and the entire health care system toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.”

In addition to the announcement of the 21 ACOs participating in the new Next Generation model, HHS added that there are 100 new ACOs in the MSSP. In addition, 39 of the MSSP ACOs will also participate in the ACO Investment Model, which provides pre-paid shared savings to encourage new ACOs in rural and underserved areas and to encourage current MSSP participants to transition to performance-based risk arrangement.

“Accountable Care Organizations are improving quality of care and spending dollars more wisely. These new initiatives place patients at the center of a coordinated care delivery system and give providers the tools to achieve better outcomes,” said Patrick Conway, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer for CMS.