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Association, Others Urge CMS to Ensure MSSP Sustainability

America’s Essential Hospitals, along with more than 30 other health care organizations, submitted comments Feb. 6 to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) proposed rule. The organizations’ recommendations are intended to ensure the long-term sustainability of the MSSP and include the following:

  • Strengthen the guidance around the assignment of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Establish greater balance between risk and reward for participating accountable care organizations (ACOs).
  • Adopt payment waivers for all ACOs to eliminate barriers to care coordination.
  • Modify current benchmark methodology.
  • Provide better and more timely data to participating ACOs.

The letter emphasized the fact that the MSSP currently places too much risk and burden on providers with too little opportunity for reward in the form of shared savings. Performance data from the first year of implementation show that only 26 percent of MSSP ACOs received a shared savings payment from CMS.

The MSSP aims to facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to improve the quality of care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries and reduce growth in health care costs. Eligible providers participate in this program by creating or joining ACOs, through which they can share savings with Medicare when they demonstrate efficient care delivery and meet quality performance benchmarks.

Please contact Beth Feldpush, DrPH, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, at bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0111 with any questions.

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About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.