The Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) on April 13 released the results of a survey of member ACOs that holds dire implications for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for ACOs; at the same time, the association called on the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to hold harmless all providers participating in the MSSP program and the Next Generation ACO Program, for all financial losses they experience in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As published to its website, NAACOS announced the results of its member-ACO survey on Monday morning. The press release began, “More than half, 56 percent, of healthcare organizations taking financial risk in a Medicare program proven to lower the cost of care said they are likely to drop out of that program because of fear of having to pay massive losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as shown by a new survey featured in a report released today. The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) surveyed the ACO community to gauge their experience in handling the ongoing pandemic,” the press release said. “As a result of swings in unpredictability and spikes in expensive hospitalizations, 21 percent of at-risk ACOs said they were ‘very likely’ to leave the Medicare ACO program, 14 percent said they were “likely,” and another 21 percent said they were “somewhat likely” to leave. Almost 80 percent of ACOs said they were “very concerned” about their ACO performance this year.”