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ACO participation creeps up in 2024

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Article

Nearly half of traditional Medicare beneficiaries now are aligned to an ACO

visual representation of ACO goals ©Dmitry-stock.adobe.com

©Dmitry-stock.adobe.com

Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) now provide care for nearly half of Americans covered by traditional Medicare, a 3% increase over 2023, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In a January 29 press release, CMS said about 13.7 million with traditional Medicare now are aligned to an ACO. The largest of these, the Medicare Shared Savings Program, has about 635,000 health care providers in 480 ACOs. Of these, 50 are new to the program in 2024 and 71 have renewed their participation. In all, participants in the Shared Savings Program provide care to 10.8 million patients, or about 79% of those with traditional Medicare.

In 2023, just under half of the 60 million Medicare beneficiaries with both parts A and B were enrolled in traditional Medicare.

CMS also announced that 19 ACOs in the Shared Savings Program are participating in a new payment option under which they can receive more than $20 million in “advance investment payments” to care for underserved populations. The ACOs will use the funds to hire community health workers and implement quality improvement activities such as case management systems, patient registries, and electronic quality reporting. CMS said care is being provided through about 9,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and critical access hospitals, a 27% increase from 2023.

“The new advance investment payments will enable health care providers in rural and other underserved areas to build the staffing, infrastructure, and care delivery improvements they need to succeed as ACOs providing high quality, equitable, accountable care to their communities,” Meena Seshamani, M.D., PhD, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare, said in the announcement.

In addition to the Shared Savings Program, CMS noted growth in two of its Innovation Center models. The ACO Realizing Equity, Access and Community Health model (ACO REACH) has increased the number of Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and critical access hospitals participating in it to 1,042, a 25% jump from 2023. And the Kidney Care Choice (KCC) model saw its number of participating health care providers and organizations increase by 10% to more than 9,227.

““The strong participation in our accountable care models in 2024 will help more people access high-quality, coordinated health care that will improve their quality of life,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Innovation Center Director Liz Fowler. “The ACO REACH and KCC models are a cornerstone of our strategy to transform the health care system, focus on equity in everything we do, and deliver person-centered care that meets people where they are.”

Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) now provide care for nearly half of Americans covered by traditional Medicare, a 3% increase over 2023, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In a January 29 press release, CMS said about 13.7 million with traditional Medicare now are aligned to an ACO. The largest of these, the Medicare Shared Savings Program, has about 635,000 health care providers in 480 ACOs. Of these, 50 are new to the program in 2024 and 71 have renewed their participation. In all, participants in the Shared Savings Program provide care to 10.8 million patients, or about 79% of those with traditional Medicare.

In 2023, just under half of the 60 million Medicare beneficiaries with both parts A and B were enrolled in traditional Medicare.

CMS also announced that 19 ACOs in the Shared Savings Program are participating in a new payment option under which they can receive more than $20 million in “advance investment payments” to care for underserved populations. The ACOs will use the funds to hire community health workers and implement quality improvement activities such as case management systems, patient registries, and electronic quality reporting. CMS said care is being provided through about 9,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and critical access hospitals, a 27% increase from 2023.

“The new advance investment payments will enable health care providers in rural and other underserved areas to build the staffing, infrastructure, and care delivery improvements they need to succeed as ACOs providing high quality, equitable, accountable care to their communities,” Meena Seshamani, M.D., PhD, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare, said in the announcement.

In addition to the Shared Savings Program, CMS noted growth in two of its Innovation Center models. The ACO Realizing Equity, Access and Community Health model (ACO REACH) has increased the number of Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and critical access hospitals participating in it to 1,042, a 25% jump from 2023. And the Kidney Care Choice (KCC) model saw its number of participating health care providers and organizations increase by 10% to more than 9,227.

““The strong participation in our accountable care models in 2024 will help more people access high-quality, coordinated health care that will improve their quality of life,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Innovation Center Director Liz Fowler. “The ACO REACH and KCC models are a cornerstone of our strategy to transform the health care system, focus on equity in everything we do, and deliver person-centered care that meets people where they are.”

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