During these difficult times for ACOs and the healthcare industry, NAACOS wanted to offer an update on how we’re fighting for relief on behalf our membership in Washington, D.C. Earlier today, NAACOS sent letters co-signed by nine other leading organizations to both CMS and House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill, asking for support and policy changes to address expected spending spikes and other challenges related to COVID-19. In these letters, NAACOS also advocates for more time to report quality and apply for new models and programs. Specifically, we are asking policymakers to:
- Hold ACOs harmless from performance-related penalties for the 2020 performance year, particularly those in two-sided risk models;
- Make appropriate adjustments to address the impact of COVID-19 on financial expenditures, performance scores, patient attribution, and risk adjustment;
- Consider additional options to support ACOs, including financial support and reinsurance options;
- Extend application timelines and/or provide additional application opportunities to join the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), Direct Contracting, and other models;
- Extend the upcoming March 31 MSSP and Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) quality and Promoting Interoperability reporting deadlines for 2019 to at least June 30; and
- Hold clinicians and ACOs harmless from quality assessments and reporting obligations for the 2020 performance year.
This follows ongoing communications with key administration leaders and our ACO champions on Capitol Hill advocating for these changes. As NAACOS continues to work to understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on ACOs, we encourage you to share your feedback on how COVID-19 is affecting your organization and how we can best support you during this time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to visit our new, dedicated COVID-19 webpage, directing you to trusted, government and NAACOS resources for ACOs. We’ll continue to update this page as pertinent information is released.
While ACOs are uniquely positioned to support the delivery of coordinated care during this difficult time, NAACOS also realizes that ACOs are also particularly vulnerable since resources spent to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 hit them twice; once during the initial spread and then again when spending is reconciled at the end of the year. We are working to communicate these concerns to policymakers to get the support ACOs need to sustain our country’s move to value-based care. We will continue to update members via email as we develop more resources to assist you during this critical time.