This has been a busy week for policy and advocacy at Caravan. Our Accountable Care Symposium opened on Monday with sessions on the latest on what’s happening in Washington. We hope you join us for the symposium, which continues through Thursday 12/10. If you aren’t able to attend this week, sign up for our newsletter to get notifications of how you can access the presentations on-demand.
On our opening day, we welcomed Amy Bassano, Deputy Director of CMMI, for her first return to the symposium since 2018. Amy gave some insight into the latest alternative payment models, including CHART and updates about the new primary care models. Health policy strategist Chris Jennings joined Caravan President and CEO Tim Gronniger for a discussion about the political outlook in the new year as the country continues to battle the pandemic and we transition to a new administration. The Rural Review policy panel featured Brock Slabach from the National Rural Health Association, Mara McDermott from McDermott Plus Consulting, and Caravan policy experts LeeAnn Hastings and Louise Yinug. The panel discussed a wide range of issues affecting rural providers, including the recent COVID-19 surge, prospects of more provider relief, and the latest physician fee schedule.
[Chris Jennings and Tim Gronniger]
[Brock Slabach, LeeAnn Hastings, Mara McDermott, and Louise Yinug]
We look forward to the next few days of the symposium which will focus on patient care, ACO financial success, and technology tools.
That’s not the only policy update from Caravan - we are continuing to advocate for Caravan clients on critical policy issues. Last week, Caravan clients were included in a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to freeze the payment and patient count thresholds to qualify as an advanced APM. Caravan is part of an ACO coalition concerned about the rising thresholds at the beginning of 2021. This is a clearly important issue to providers - more than 501 health practices across the coalition signed the letter.
We are asking for Congress to keep the incentives for APM participation strong. Qualifying participants in advanced APMs can receive a 5% part B bonus payment if they take on significant risk and are increasing participation, as measured by revenue and patients. In 2020, the revenue threshold is 50% and the patient count threshold is 35%. Without an act of Congress, both threshold tests will increase sharply in 2021, making it harder for ACOs to be rewarded for taking on risk.
All ACOs will move to two-sided risk in the new Pathways to Success program, and CMS has already recognized the extreme circumstances of the pandemic and allowed ACOs to stay in their current risk track for one more year. Freezing these thresholds would accomplish a similar goal, recognizing that ACOs need relief in this most unusual year. While Congress is nearly done with its work for the year, we hope they will act on this issue.
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