Allison Brennan Outlines Additional Areas of Improvement for Medicare ACOs

There are additional areas of improvement for Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) beyond what was proposed in the Pathways to Success regulation, said Allison Brennan, MPP, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS).

Note: Since this video was filmed, CMS has finalized its overhaul of the Medicare Shared Savings Progam. Read more about the final rule.

There are additional areas of improvement for Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) beyond what was proposed in the Pathways to Success regulation, said Allison Brennan, MPP, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS).

Transcript

What additional areas of improvement in MSSP would NAACOS like to see?

I think there is a lot of improvement that we can make in the program. I think that we are seeing improvements in this proposed Pathways to Success regulation. Some of those include the increased predictability and stability through longer agreement periods. I think we’d like to see more predictability and stability in relation to things like benchmarking, as well.

Also, as we look at the ACO program in comparison with other Medicare programs, we’d like to see more of an even playing field. For example, in Medicare Advantage, risk adjustment plays a much bigger role. We’d like to see ACOs get some of the same benefits of risk adjustment that we see under Medicare Advantage. We also would lie to see more flexibility for ACOs in relation to how they progress through the program and rather than have a one-size-fits-all methodology for some of these things, provide a little more flexibility.

We’d also like to see more control for ACOs in terms of exactly who’s in the ACO and who is not in the ACO. And increased beneficiary engagement, so that ACOs that are accountable for the cost and quality of beneficiary care can make sure that beneficiaries are going to the right providers in their community while at the same time kind of maintaining patient choice.