CMS Offers Upfront Investment to ACOs Through New Initiative

Accountable Care Organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program will have access to a new initiative that will support care coordination across the country, according to CMS. Up to $114 million in upfront investments will be made available.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) will have access to a new initiative available to support care coordination across the country, according to CMS.

The ACO Investment Model will provide up to $114 million in upfront investments to up to 75 ACOs nationwide in an effort to better coordinate care in rural and undeserved areas, CMS announced Wednesday.

“The ACO Investment Model will give Medicare Accountable Care Organizations more flexibility in setting quality and financial goals, while giving them greater accountability for delivering quality care efficiently,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, said in a statement. “We are working with these organizations to make necessary investments that encourage doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to work together to better coordinate care and keep people healthy.”

CMS expects the investments in infrastructure and redesigning the care process will increase the number of beneficiaries that can benefit from improved healthcare and lower costs through Medicare ACOs. The money will be recouped through an offset of an ACO’s earned shared savings.

ACOs that joined the MSSP in 2012, 2013, 2014, and new ACOs joining in 2016 will be eligible for investments through the initiative. For ACOs that joined the program in 2012 or 2013, the application deadline is December 1, 2014. During the summer of 2015, applications will be available for organizations that started the program in 2014 or will start in 2016.

ACOs that participated in the Advance Payment Model or those owned or operated in whole or in part by a health plan are not eligible for the ACO Investment Model. This initiative will target new ACOs serving rural areas and areas with low ACO penetration, as well as existing ACOs that are committed to moving to higher risk tracks, according to CMS. Preference will be given to ACOs that:

  • Provide high quality of care
  • Achieved their financial benchmark
  • Demonstrate exceptional financial need
  • Submit compelling proposals for how they will invest both their own funds and CMS funds

Read about the ACO Innovation Model: http://1.usa.gov/1sR17mihttp://1.usa.gov/1sR17mi