Policy Update: MSSP Innovation, NAACOS Conference Highlights
June 1, 2022

Public Health Emergency and Telehealth

Most signs are pointing to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency no longer being renewed and officially ending on July 15, 2022. Our June policy email will include more detailed information on the impacts associated with the PHE ending, but most notably all the current telehealth flexibilities will continue to be available for 150 days after the PHE ends (through December 2nd). Congress put this in place to give themselves time to address it legislatively.
Continuing to Innovate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program

We continue to push the idea that the CMS Innovation Center should view MSSP as a chassis for innovation in developing new models, an idea that has gained enough traction that Meena Seshamani, the director of the Center for Medicare, uttered those very words during the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) Spring Conference last week (see below). Check out our new series that builds on the original Health Affairs article and fleshes out four areas of transformation: Next Gen ACO, Primary Care Capitation, Value-based Insurance Design, and Health Equity.
Aledade continues to focus on solving the “rural glitch” –and that means evolving our message to ensure the solution fits into the core strategies CMS has laid out for the next decade. In our new one-pager, we show how the rural glitch and disincentives for ACOs to grow in rural and underserved areas are inextricably linked. We are eying the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule in July very hard looking for proposals that will move benchmarking towards underserved areas. 
Aledade at NAACOS Spring 2022 Conference

Last week NAACOS had its annual spring conference. Travis presented on the Expected Costs: Principles of Benchmarking in Medicare, MA, Commercial, and Medicaid session, and Kim Kauffman, VP of Clinical Performance, spoke on the Operationalizing DCE Compliance panel.
During the opening plenary, Meena Seshamani, the director of the Center for Medicare, reiterated how important it is for CMS to continue dialogue with the ACO community and get direct input into future directions, new models, and model refinements. Also discussed in the session, is the recently published New England Journal of Medicine article by Seshamani and colleagues, noting the data on the benefits of ACOs are clear, and that quality metrics for practices in MSSP ACOs were superior to those in the Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS).
In her keynote, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Director Liz Fowler spoke about how CMS is “100% committed to value-based care.” She talked about the need to work more closely with payers to achieve multi-payer alignment on quality metrics, as all payers need to move in the same direction around value-based care. She discussed the need to grow participation in ACOs and the importance of making adjustments to benchmarking methodology and examining the impact of rebasing and regional benchmark adjustments to make being in an ACO more feasible for those in underserved areas.

If you are interested in learning more about NAACOS resources, Aledade is a long-time member and the Policy team would be glad to link those resources to you.

Thank you for everything you are doing.