KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 24, 2021 – Today, Caravan Health announced a new initiative to bring rural providers into Medicare ACOs with no costs and no risk with the ACO Transformation Track of CMS’ new Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) model. This new opportunity will give rural providers a foothold in value-based payment with Caravan’s proven model for ACO success.

The CHART ACO Track is based on the success of a previous CMS initiative, the ACO Investment Model (AIM), which provided start-up funds to small rural ACOs. The difference is that financial risk is now coming much more quickly in Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. New CHART ACOs will start in January 2022 in Pathways to Success, and most will have to take on financial risk for at least three years. Caravan understands that taking on this financial risk can be daunting for any provider new to risk-based payment—and next to impossible for rural providers.

Rural health systems are hesitant to take on downside risk for good reason. There are serious health access issues facing rural communities, including widespread hospital closures, provider shortages, long distances, and even longer wait times. Rural providers are understandably reluctant to dive into value-based payment without help.
Caravan has proven that rural providers can succeed in value-based payment with the right support. Caravan supported more than half the small rural ACOs in the AIM, which saved more than $380 million from 2016 to 2018 for Medicare. Just like AIM, upfront support from CHART is repaid to CMS through earned shared savings.

“We understand the unique challenges rural providers face and recognize that many will be reluctant to move into risk-based payment without protection against financial ruin,” said Lynn Barr, Caravan Health Founder & Executive Chair. “Our proven formula for ACO success has demonstrated that rural providers can thrive in value-based care with the proper tools and resources. Just as we did with AIM, we are ready to support rural providers and communities by creating this free, no risk option.”

Caravan Health, the nation’s leader in accountable health care, is well-positioned to support providers in this venture. Caravan’s clients consistently lead the nation in performance measures. Recently, Becker’s Hospital Review announced its annual Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals comprised of national leaders. One of the 10 Caravan Health clients featured on the list included Central Montana Medical Center (CMMC). “This award is particularly meaningful because the criteria used to evaluate performance spans a multitude of areas including managing risk, quality performance, patient outcomes and satisfaction, and operating costs," commented Cody Langbehn, CMMC CEO.
For rural providers, Caravan Health will be responsible for 100% of the Shared Savings Program downside risk in a Caravan-sponsored ACO. This means Caravan’s rural clients never have to pay money back to CMS resulting from downside risk in ACO participation. This new offering will ensure that the program is sustainable for rural providers' needs throughout the entirety of the program.
To participate, rural providers simply have to remain in good standing in an ACO and the CHART model. Caravan Health’s CEO Tim Gronniger is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 1 at 4:00pm EST to learn more about this limited time opportunity and to discuss eligibility. Register here for more information.   

About Caravan Health:
Caravan Health is a privately held company formed to create a sustainable model for health systems to excel in value-based payment models. Today, Caravan Health’s team of more than 150 experts has supported more than 300 health systems with training, data, analytics, patient satisfaction surveys, and evidence-based medicine programs.  Through its program of transparency and mutual accountability, Caravan Health has delivered more than 10 times the national average in real savings since 2015. In 2019 and 2020, Caravan Health partners earned $300 million in Medicare savings, over $120 million in shared savings and earned quality scores exceeding 94%. With Caravan Health, now the numbers work.
For more information visit www.caravanhealth.com.

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