CMS announces final round of application for Next Generation ACO model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Innovation Center is accepting the second and final round of applications for its Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, which will begin its second performance year on Jan. 1, 2017.

The Next Generation ACO Model is an initiative for ACOs that are experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients and allows doctors and hospitals to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward than are available under the current Pioneer Model and Shared Savings Program (MSSP). The goal of the Model is to test whether strong financial incentives for ACOs, coupled with tools to support better patient engagement and care management, can improve health outcomes and lower expenditures for Original Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries.

Participants in the model take on greater performance risk than those in current models, and may also share in a greater portion of savings. Eligible participants include physicians and other practitioners, hospitals that employ or have partnership arrangements with physicians or other practitioners, critical access hospitals, and rural health clinics.

Applications are due May 25, with associated lists of providers and service areas due June 3. Interested organizations also must submit a letter of intent by April 1.  Currently, 21 ACOs participate in the model.