NCMS Morning Rounds 1-14-20

Enjoy Tuesday’s

NCMS Morning Rounds.

Jan. 14, 2020

ACO Update from the National Association of ACOs

In response to last week’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) release of data on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the Next Generation ACO Model (NEXT GEN), the National Association of ACOS (NAACOS) offered its insights into this latest information. Both programs are Alternative Payment Models designed to save Medicare money and improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

The number of ACOs participating in the MSSP remained steady with 517 enrolled in the program in 2020, just one less than the 518 that participated last year nationwide. The MSSP reached a high of 561 participating ACOs in 2018, and NAACOs expressed disappointment that overall MSSP program growth has stagnated.

There are now 11.2 million Medicare beneficiaries cared for by an ACO, which is nearly 20 percent of Medicare and a third of those not enrolled with a Medicare Advantage plan. More ACOs are assuming risk in 2020, which continues to be an emphasis of NAACOS’s educational efforts. In February they will be offering an educational ‘bootcamp’ focusing on the ‘essential tools for financial success in a risk-based ACO.’ Learn more.

ACOs participating in the Next Gen model, collectively saved Medicare $406 million last year alone, according to NAACOs. Next Gen is an initiative for ACOs that are experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients, and allows these groups to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward than are available under the MSSP.

Last year’s savings figure includes the $242 million in savings generated by ACOs and the $163 million in collective discounts, which are automatic savings to Medicare. ACOs earned $285 million in shared savings payments and ACOs with losses paid $64 million. The bottom line to the Medicare Trust Fund (when factoring in discounts and shared savings and loss payments) is $185 million.

Learn more about NAACOS’ view on the latest data.

NCMS Initiatives Praised at AMA State Advocacy Summit

Sec. Cohen presenting at the AMA State Advocacy Summit

NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, was a featured speaker at last week’s AMA State Advocacy Summit, describing the state’s “Blueprint for ‘Buying Health’” detailing the NCCare360 initiative and the launch of the Healthy Opportunities pilot program.

Secretary Cohen and Elyse Powell, PhD, NCDHHS’ Opioid Coordinator, who spoke on increasing access to evidence-based care for substance use disorders, both mentioned NCMS initiatives. Sec. Cohen praised NCMS efforts to address the social determinants of health through Our Community Health Initiative and Dr. Powell noted our efforts to effectively treat substance use disorders through our Project OBOT.

The Summit brings together physician leadership, national experts, state legislators and regulators and medical society staff to share ideas on effective advocacy in key areas of interest across the nation. NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA attended, as did longtime NCMS member and leader David Tayloe, Jr., MD, a Goldsboro pediatrician.

Learn more about the AMA’s Advocacy in Action.

Congrats to Future Clinician Leader

Brown is pictured second from right.

Shannon Brown a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) and masters of science in public health (MSPH) degree candidate at Campbell University is the only pharmacy student taking part in the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership’s Future Clinician Leader’s College.

This latest track in the Kanof Institute’s array of leadership development educational offerings is an interprofessional program intended for a select group of emerging leaders in health care professional training within the state of North Carolina. Learn more.

Brown wrote about her experience thus far on the Campbell University blog. Read her post.

In the News

First Death from Wuhan Pneumonia Outbreak Reported as Scientists Release DNA Sequence of Virus, STAT, 1-11-20

Learning Opportunity

Save April 8-10 for the Clinical Conference on Quality & Chronic Disease to be held in Durham. This conference brings together health care experts and safety-net providers to discuss trends and quality improvement methods. Tracks this year include behavioral health, pediatric obesity and a diabetes update. Learn more.


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