ACOsAlternative Payment Models (APM)MIPS Value PathwaysValue-Based Health Care
July 12, 2022

CMS 2023 Proposed Rule Accelerates ACOs, MVPs

CMS just set off summer fireworks, amping up incentives to adopt Value-Based Care in its just-released, 2,066-page 2023 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule. By encouraging formation of new ACOs, the Proposed Rule establishes a pathway to expand beneficiaries' access to accountable care. Last year, CMS committed that every Medicare beneficiary will be in an accountable care relationship by 2030, to ensure quality and total cost control. Its October 2021 Innovation Center’s Strategic Refresh identified issues with provider adoption of accountable care networks and alternative payment models (APMs). It also identified two objectives: to drive providers into Accountable Care Networks, and…
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ACOsFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
November 17, 2021

Supercharge Your Way to Value-Based Care

Whether you are an ACO, a health system considering value-based payment, or a medical group weighing your options for Value-Based Care, Roji’s new eBook, Supercharge your ACO for Top Value, has the strategies you need to reduce the cost of care and get clinician backing for innovation. The health care market’s reconfigured landscape puts ACOs—and health care organizations still in a Fee-for-Service contracting circuit—in danger of losing their ability to capture the savings from more effective and efficient health care driven by data, strong physician buy-in, and direct-to-consumer marketing. Medicare Advantage and equity-backed medical groups are competing with traditional providers…
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ACOsEpisodes of CarePopulation HealthValue-Based Health Care
October 20, 2021

New ACO Playbook: How to Supercharge Your ACO

Throughout the last decade of ACO development, many have struggled to identify what actually makes ACOs successful. Analyses have been fraught with conflicting conclusions. Studies have tagged type of ownership (hospital-based vs. physician-led), geographic region or urban-rural factors, primary-care-only versus specialty participation, ACO payment model type, patient volume, and operations strategies as links to success or failure. While such studies are often insightful and worth considering, they won’t pass scientific muster. That’s because ACO success does not depend solely on an ACO’s organizational attributes. Success in Your ACO Business Is Driven by Vision and Execution Like every business trying to…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health Care
October 6, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Seven Keys to Expanding ACO Savings—and Market Share

At the beginning of this series, we laid out a basic tenet: As shared savings plan ACOs, you need to do as well or better at lowering costs than competing value-based payment models. Otherwise, your resources and support will dwindle in favor of more promising avenues to control Medicare spending, and competition will stifle your growth. We’ve examined the competition and what they offer physicians to succeed in Risk and to attract patients. The bar is high. Medicare Advantage Plans, equity-backed practices, and Management-model ACOs like Aledade have changed the playing field for physician participation and growth. ACOs Have Lost…
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ACOsConsumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
August 24, 2021

Cost Savings Aren’t the Only Objective for ACOs: Growth Matters, Too

Keeping within expenditure limits is a top priority for most ACOs for Medicare. That makes sense. Savings are the main distinguishing feature of an ACO arrangement, as opposed to straight Fee-for-Service reimbursement. ACOs that accept downside risk can’t afford to exceed the expenditure target. It’s in their best interest to create initiatives to cut costs and control expenses—especially for services outside the ACO, such as post-acute care. But a cost strategy only focused on trimming expenses will likely fail the ACO in the long run. Why? Medicare ACOs face an annually decreasing expenditure limit that mandates them to lower costs…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareValue-Based Health Care
June 17, 2021

New ACO Playbook: How ACOs Can Transform Clinical Care for Diabetes

An illuminating article about ACOs, featuring current and former MedPAC chairs’ perspectives, argues that savings have been constrained because too much is beyond ACOs’ purview to manage. Examples include both external restrictions (the exclusion of prescription drugs and provider fee payments from ACO control) and internal cultural or economic barriers (conflicts of interest that make it difficult to reduce hospitalization revenues). ACOs Are Caught Between Roles as Provider and Payer The current ACO model is, indeed, challenging. Blending both provider and payer functions is fraught with conflict. But the provider-directed model was supposed to function closer to the actual delivery…
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ACOsAPM Performance PathwayMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)RiskValue-Based Health Care
May 24, 2021

New ACO Playbook: To Show Standout Performance, ACOs Must Rethink Quality

The health care media are full of articles asserting that ACOs have proven their mettle in delivering health care of highest quality. Citing ACO quality reporting results, CMS and advocates point to the majority of ACOs passing CMS quality standards, and that ACOs are improving their results on quality measures over time. The vast majority of ACOs meet quality measures, with 92 percent passing the qualification for shared savings in 2019. But is quality performance a distinguishing feature that ACOs can use competitively—and sustain the payment model’s long-term prospects? To earn permanency and competitive advantage, ACOs must show that the…
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ACOsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
May 13, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Three Touchstones for ACO Viability

Some believe that an ACO’s leadership structure predicts its success. They point to differing savings results for physician-led versus hospital-led ACO shared savings models (MSSPs) to make their case. In particular, they make the argument that future Value-Based Care (VBC) policies should benefit the growth of successful physician-led ACOs, protecting them from policies that force them into Risk. There are significant flaws to tying ACO structure to the viability or value of the model, however, or in discrediting ACOs which don’t yet produce those savings but may have other important characteristics for the long term. In a more competitive health…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 29, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Can Coordination of Care Save Enough Money to Save ACOs?

Central to the controversy about ACOs’ potential for Value-Based Care is whether they actually save enough money and reduce costs fast enough. Researchers and advocates have produced various independent studies of ACO savings, the most generous estimating $1.8 billion in cumulative savings over the first three years of the program, almost double CMS estimates. Many others, however, dismiss the small proportion of savings—at a few percentage points—relative to total Medicare spending. The previous CMS administration was clearly dubious about the shared savings model. It favored payment models that put providers at financial risk to increase cost reduction incentives, even though…
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ACOsRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 14, 2021

Why ACOs Need a New Playbook

A lot has happened in health care since 2012, when final rules permitted provider-organized ACOs to be the driving force of Value-Based Care under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we pass the ACA’s eleventh anniversary, a dwindling number of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs are entering a new phase marked by higher expectations and more difficult economics. To succeed in this challenging environment, ACOs will need different tools going forward than first contemplated, because of competition, both from providers under new value-based payment models and from Medicare Advantage plans. They also face more skepticism. Although rule changes…
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