The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a new funding opportunity specifically for rural providers. CMS wants to encourage providers to form Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs in rural areas and areas with low ACO penetration. The ACO Investment Model (AIM) program will provide upfront and monthly funding for eligible ACOs to participate in the MSSP beginning in 2016. The upfront and monthly per member/per month (PMPM) will provide funds to develop the infrastructure needed for population health management.
The MSSP was established to improve the quality of care for Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries by promoting accountability for their care, requiring coordinated care for any service provided under Medicare FFS and encouraging investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes. MSSP also aims to reduce unnecessary costs. Providers, hospitals and suppliers that either create or participate in an ACO may participate in this program. Those ACOs that lower their rising health care costs and simultaneously put patients first and meet performance standards on quality of care will be rewarded by the MSSP. Click here to learn more about MSSP.
The NCMS Foundation has been working diligently over the past several years to foster development of value-driven health care models and ACOs through its Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative and the NC ACO Collaborative as well as at the General Assembly. This rural ACO initiative is the latest effort. Learn more about it here.