COVID-19 and ACOs

NAACOS is working with both Congress and CMS to support ACOs’ important work during the COVID-19 pandemic. NAACOS and nine other leading provider organizations asked Congress and the Trump administration to act quickly to ensure clinicians focused on value-based care are not inappropriately penalized for the extreme costs of handling the COVID-19 pandemic and can continue to focus their energy on patient care. Click on the graphic to the right for more information on how ACOs are leveraging high tech, high-touch population health tools to support patients at high risk for COVID-19.

See Results from Weekly Poll About COVID’s Impact on In-Person Visits.

NAACOS Advocacy

  • NAACOS and other leading organizations send letter requesting Congress support value-based payment through COVID stimulus
  • NAACOS letter supports Next Gen extension and asks for further program modifications to protect ACOs in response to COVID-19
  • NAACOS provides detailed comments in response to CMS rules with COVID-19 policies affecting ACOs
  • NAACOS urges swift action to extend the Next Generation ACO Model and announce plans for the future of the Direct Contracting Model
  • NAACOS and eight other leading healthcare associations send comment letter to CMS requesting additional ACO protections in response to COVID-19
  • NAACOS and seven others urge CMS to count diagnoses obtained from audio-only telehealth services for risk adjustment purposes
  • NAACOS asks FCC to expand eligibility of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program
  • Senators support NAACOS position on COVID-19 relief
  • NAACOS and others ask Congress for assistance for providers serving Medicare Advantage beneficiaries
  • NAACOS and others ask CMS to accelerate CPC+ payments in response to COVID-19
  • NAACOS and nine others ask House and Senate leaders for relief from COVID-19 response
  • NAACOS and nine others ask CMS for relief from COVID-19 response
  • NAACOS and 13 others write Congress to address telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency

NAACOS Resources 

On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, into law. The stimulus package includes over $2 trillion in spending and tax relief to assist the American public and healthcare providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act allows for additional care coordination by modernizing regulations (42 CFR Part 2) to make it easier to share the medical records of people with substance use disorders, a change long – called for by NAACOS. The bill provides a further expansion of telehealth services, policies NAACOS has advocated for on Capitol Hill. The legislation also provides $100 billion in grants for hospitals and health providers, temporarily suspends Medicare's 2 percent sequestration cuts, and increases Medicare payments for COVID-19 patient care.

A section-by-section summary of the CARES Act is available, a summary of the appropriations funding is available.

Additional Congressional Relief
On April 24, President Trump signed into law a $484 billion relief package named the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This includes more than $300 billion in additional funding for the small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which had previously run out. This package provides an additional $75 billion for providers under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to support COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue due to coronavirus. It also allocates $25 billion more for COVID-19 testing, $6 billion for the HHS Inspector General, and other money for the NIH, CDC, and BARDA. Read a summary of the full bill.  

What other resources exist for ACOs?

Telehealth Resources

Funding Opportunities

  • Updated CMS Fact Sheet on Expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payments Program for Providers and Suppliers During COVID-19 Emergency (Issued 04/26/20)
  • CMS Fact Sheet on Expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payments Program for Providers and Suppliers During COVID-19 Emergency (Issued 03/28/20)
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital (authorized in the CARES Act)
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is providing forgivable loans to qualifying small businesses under 500 employees of up to $10 million

Other Resources

  • CMS publishes fourth interim final rule providing public health emergency flexibilities (Issued 10/28/20)
  • CMS Innovation Center announces model changes because of COVID-19
  • Administration guidance to health systems and patients as COVID-19 cases decline on providing in-person care
  • COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing
  • Medicare Shared Savings Program: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 (Issued  4/29/20)
  • CMS Updates Guidance Providing Flexibility on Delaying Non Essential Procedures (Issued 04/19/20)
  • CMS Issues New Guidance to Nursing Homes on COVID-19 Reporting (Issued 04/19/20)
  • COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (Issued 04/09/20)
  • Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services and Treatment Recommendations (Issued 04/07/20)
  • CMS Memo on Exceptions and Extensions for MIPS and Quality Reporting Requirements (Issued 03/27/20)
  • CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19 (Issued 03/22/20): 
  • CMS COVID-19 Partner Toolkit
  • CMS Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations (Issued 03/15/20)
  • CMS COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet (Issued 03/13/2020)
  • CMS Coverage and Payment Related to COVID-19 Fact Sheet (Issued 03/05/2020)
  • SAMHSA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 Projections

Who can I contact to share more information on how COVID-19 is affecting my ACO?

To share more information regarding how COVID-19 is affecting your ACO, please email us at [email protected].

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