The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) joined with prominent organizations representing physicians, hospitals, and ACOs to push for reform to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in a comment letter submitted today.
“If we’re going to evolve beyond today’s costly, underperforming volume-based health care, Medicare must do more to expand the MSSP and help providers move to more advanced models,” said John Rother, NCHC’s President and CEO.
Along with NCHC, the letter’s signatories include American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Medical Group Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Collaborative Health Systems, Medical Group Management Association, National Association of ACOs, Premier healthcare alliance, Trinity Health, and a subsidiary of Universal American. The letter was submitted in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s proposed rule on the MSSP, Medicare’s premier ACO initiative.
To ensure the MSSP delivers on its potential, the letter offers 35 pages of detailed recommendations aimed at five key priorities:
- Strengthening the process of assigning Medicare beneficiaries;
- Establishing a more appropriate balance between risk and reward;
- Adopting payment waivers to eliminate barriers to care coordination;
- Modifying the current benchmark methodology to promote ACO participation; and
- Providing better and timelier data.
The proposals outlined in the letter would also allow beneficiaries to choose an ACO to be responsible for their care and, at the ACO’s prerogative, receive certain primary care services without cost-sharing.
According to Rother, much depends on CMS’ forthcoming ACO rule: “The signatories to this letter represent physicians, hospitals, and ACOs that are ready to deliver the better care at lower cost our nation needs. CMS must enable them to do so.”