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February 8, 2018

ACO roundup: Cleveland Clinic's ACO shifts to MSSP Track 1+ model

Daily Briefing
    • Cleveland Clinic ACO shifts to Track 1+ model. Cleveland Clinic's Medicare ACO this year will become a Medicare Shared Savings Program Track 1+ ACO, meaning it will qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model under MACRA's Quality Payment Program. As a Track 1+ model, Cleveland Clinic's ACO, which manages care for 105,000 beneficiaries, will take on increased downside risk (set at a 30% loss-sharing rate), and will also be eligible for a higher proportion of savings (up to 50%) based on quality performance.

    • Management partners play key role in some ACOs, study finds. Although ACOs have a reputation as being provider-driven, 37% of ACOs have partnered with a consultancy—and two-thirds of those ACOs said the consulting management partner shared in the financial risks or rewards, according to a new Health Affairs study. The study also found that while ACOs with and without management partners reported similar performance, cost, and quality metrics, ACOs with a management partner were more likely than those without to involve only physician groups (45%, compared with 18%) and less likely to include a hospital (46%, compared with 74%). According to the study, the findings suggest that management partners are providing key services to providers who might otherwise be unable to operate as an ACO.

    • CMS cancels Obama-era Direct Decision Support payment model. CMS on Friday announced that it will no longer test the Direct Decision Support (DDS) payment model that was proposed by the agency's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation under former President Barack Obama's administration. CMS said it will not move forward with launching the DDS model because of operational and technical issues related to the model's proposed design. CMS said it "determined that the design and operational changes necessary to continue with the DDS model would [have been] too significant and burdensome for participants, and would [have] require[d] a new solicitation."

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