The AHA and nine other organizations representing physicians, hospitals, medical group practices, academic medical centers and nearly all existing accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program today submitted joint comments and recommendations for developing a new Medicare ACO model discussed in the recent final rule implementing key provisions of the new Medicare payment system for physicians required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. The model, which would incorporate less downside risk than existing two-sided ACO models, “represents an important step to ensure the long-term viability of the ACO model,” the groups said in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “We applaud CMS’s plans to develop Track 1+ and urge the agency to establish it so that it’s widely available to ACOs of all sizes and structures and that participation in the model is not restricted to a specific number of agreement periods. We also greatly appreciate CMS’s plans to develop Track 1+ as an Advanced [Alternative Payment Model] starting in 2018 under the [MACRA] Quality Payment Program.” The groups urged CMS to “release finalized Track 1+ details as soon as possible.”

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