Policy Update: Takeaways from Health Care Value Week

February 15, 2024

Our updates this month include:

  • Recap of Health Care Value Week and some announcements out of CMS
  • We are tracking any news on Medicare payment out of Congress, as they focus on continuing to fund the government past March and extend expired health care programs
  • State policy updates 

A Successful Week of Value-based Care Advocacy 

We are invigorated after January’s Health Care Value Week, where we came together for virtual and in-person conferences and events with the ACO community to celebrate the progress made in value-based care and chart the path forward for advocacy and policy change. With constant turnover in Congress, it is critical to keep up the drum beat about the value of the ACO model for practices and communities. Aledade hosted a panel discussion on what it will take to get the late adopters to join ACOs, and we were able to share some of the innovative work our member practices do every day with Congressional members and staffers.

CMS leadership focused their remarks on efforts to align quality measures,  a desire to hear directly from ACO practices about what is working and what they need, and announced a new website to educate the public about the basics of value-based care. The website also features stories of patients and families whose lives have been positively impacted by the ACO model. CMS announced that ACO participation continued to grow in 2024, reaching 13.7 million Medicare beneficiaries. While great progress has been made, we have been stuck at 30%-40% of primary care practices in the US in MSSP for several years. Aledade is focused on the levers CMS could pull to ensure continued recruitment and participation, including: 1) applying learnings from other models to continually improve the flagship MSSP ACO program, 2) enhancing primary care payments to practices, 3) making concerted efforts to encourage clinicians to join VBC models, and 4) creating achievable quality benchmarks to continue rewarding practices who provide great care.

Congress Faces Looming March Deadline to Reach a Deal on Appropriations for the Remainder of the Fiscal Year 

Congressional leaders are currently negotiating a path forward to fund the government past early March and extend expired health care programs, including the advanced alternative payment model (APM) incentive payment. Aledade and the ACO community continue our advocacy for Congress to support an extension of the incentive payments and retroactive reduction to the qualifying thresholds.

State Policy Corner

The Policy team held our inaugural in-person policy retreat in Raleigh, North Carolina last month. It was a fantastic opportunity for both current policy committee members and other Aledade member practices to join together and educate state legislators on the value of value-based care as well as the need to support independent and community-based primary care in North Carolina. Seen here: committee members with Senators Gale Adcock and Jim Burgin.