Experts applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ “Next Generation” Accountable Care Organization (ACO) plan, which asks participants to take on more financial risk in return for more potential reward. The aim is to move away from fee for service to capitation as payers push healthcare industry toward a value-based reimbursement system.
“It’s a real effort to move away from shared savings or limited risk models. On both counts it’s an important step,” said Mark McClellan, M.D., a former CMS administrator, told FierceHealthcare.
Larry Kocot, a visiting fellow in the economic-studies program at the Brookings Institution, agreed. “I do think CMS should be credited for thinking creatively to extend the model to meet the needs of providers no matter what stage they are at within the ACO program,” he told the news service.
Farzad Mostashari, M.D., former national coordinator for health- information technology, told Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network that the new model will likely suggest how CMS will structure other ACO’s. “This is directionally, absolutely where the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) is headed.”
“We are hopeful the changes they proposed and the comments received that they will make the MSSP program more accessible and more friendly to a number of providers,” said Kocot, who also served as a senior administrator of CMS.
FierceHealthcare reported that Kocot said he’d like the CMS to establish a ”fourth track that would lead to full capitation. He recommends tracks that reflect a continuum of ACOs that may begin with little risk and end with the full capitation model.”