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. In letters to House and Senate leaders, we asked lawmakers to shield participants in ACOs and other value-based payment models from financial penalties because of costs incurred responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letters emphasize how ACOs are judged against their spending from previous years, which will likely be an inappropriate comparison for Performance Year (PY) 2020 expenditures with the expected spike resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAACOS will keep members updated on changes as we continue our advocacy and education efforts to provide ACOs with relief from COVID-19. To stay up-to-date on COVID-19 by visiting this webpage.

  • 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

  • NAACOS Review of the CMS Interim Final Rule Activating MSSP Extreme Circumstances Policy for ACOs in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In response to receiving a number of questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAACOS has developed a fact sheet reviewing information on how ACOs may be affected by the spread of this virus. 
  • NAACOS has also developed a Telehealth FAQ to assist ACOs using telehealth services during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • View our on-demand webinar, Using Telehealth to Combat COVID-19.

CARES Act Update

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.

What other resources exist for ACOs?

Telehealth Resources

CMS COVID-19 Telehealth FAQs (Issued 03/17/20)

CMS Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Toolkit

OIG Policy Statement Regarding Physicians and Other Practitioners That Reduce or Waive Amounts Owed by Federal Health Care Program Beneficiaries for Telehealth Services During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak (Issued 03/24/20) 

Funding Opportunities

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)

Other Resources

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].