Work Will Help the Provider Community Understand and Prepare for New Innovation Center Model
March 2 2022 – The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) today announced the formation of the ACO REACH Coalition, a new coalition dedicated to promoting shared learning and advocating on behalf of providers in this new Medicare value-based payment model.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new initiative called the ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) Model, the next premier accountable care model from the CMS Innovation Center that builds on more than a decade of bipartisan Medicare accountable care programs that have demonstrated successful results for patients, providers, and the Medicare Trust Fund.
“The ACO REACH Model is a positive step on the important journey to value-based care and will support CMS’s work to have all Medicare beneficiaries in an accountable care relationship by 2030,” said Clif Gaus, Sc.D., NAACOS President and CEO. “The REACH Model’s focus on equity, increased provider governance, improvements to risk adjustment, and other changes are critical updates to accountable care that will benefit patients and historically underserved communities. The new ACO REACH Coalition will help drive model participation and ensure REACH will be the next in a growing line of successful accountable care models.”
The ACO REACH Coalition will provide in-depth resources and education to providers considering and later participating in the model when it launches in 2023. Specifically, the coalition will produce webinars and resources that analyze key details and aspects of the model, house key resources on a standalone webpage, hold in-person conference sessions and networking events, and provide a dedicated listserv to engage with peers about the model, among other benefits. Additionally, the ACO REACH Coalition will provide advocacy to improve the model to benefit the patients and providers involved in it. Information to sign up is available here.
As part of NAACOS education efforts on the ACO REACH Model and the overall shift to value, the association is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., J.D., the CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Innovation Center, will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming NAACOS conference in April.
CMS materials note that the ACO REACH Model promotes health equity, specifically requiring all participants to develop and implement a robust health equity plan to identify underserved communities and launch initiatives to measurably reduce health disparities within their patient populations. Addressing equity is one of the important improvements that the new model brings compared to a current similar initiative, the Direct Contracting Model. NAACOS successfully advocated to improve that model, and many of our proposed changes are included in the ACO REACH Model.
“As the accountable care movement grows and evolves, so too must NAACOS,” Gaus said. “We are fully embracing the ACO REACH Model and look forward to supporting its ACO participants.”