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CMS on Monday announced that 21 organizations will initially participate in its Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.
The model, unveiled in March 2015, uses a combination of fee-for-service and capitation. It creates four payment systems and two risk tracks for its participants, including one with almost full risk.
Under the Next Generation ACO model, beneficiaries will be able to voluntarily sign up to participate in the ACOs. In exchange, they will pay reduced or no copayments for certain services, such as primary care visits. The model also will allow providers more freedom to use telemedicine and home visits.
What ACOs need to know about CMS's 'Next Generation' model
In total, CMS announced 121 new participants across its various ACO programs, including:
- The 21 Next Generation ACOs, which will include 650,000 Medicare beneficiaries at the program's start;
- 100 new ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP); and
- 147 renewing MSSP ACOs.
In addition, CMS announced that 41 MSSP ACOs have joined CMS' ACO Investment Model, a "pre-paid shared savings" model that will help new ACOs form in underserved areas and existing ACOs move into arrangements that bring more financial risk.
Six factors providers need to consider when choosing an ACO model
In total, all four ACO programs now include 477 organizations, which will provide care for a total of about 8.9 million Medicare beneficiaries.
According to CMS, a second round of applications for the Next Generation Model will open in the spring (Frieden, MedPage Today, 1/11; Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/11; CMS release , 1/11; CMS release , 1/11; Frieden).
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