Download as PDF

NAACOS Statement on President-Elect Biden’s Healthcare Agenda
Attributed to Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of the National Association of ACOs 

NAACOS congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory in the 2020 presidential election and looks forward to working with the incoming administration to promote our transition to value-based healthcare. Even though immediate attention will and should go toward the pandemic, we urge the new administration to prioritize healthcare payment and delivery system reform in its work. In fact, we know from experience this year that population-focused systems are better positioned to handle prevention, treatment and long-term follow-up care for both COVID-infected patients and traditional patients with chronic conditions. 

For starters, a Biden-Harris administration should look to promote growth in ACO programs, which have proven to lower the rate of Medicare spending growth, by opening the Medicare Shared Savings Program to new ACOs interested in starting in 2021. A new administration needs to examine unintended and negative consequences of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Pathway to Success policies and consider remedies such as restoring lowered shared savings rates for ACOs and allowing providers more time before taking on financial risk. The CMS Innovation Center can promote accountable care models, such as Direct Contracting, by applying lessons we have learned over the last decade. 

In a divided Washington, which 2021 will likely bring with it, policymakers should look for areas of bipartisan agreement, and advancing value-based healthcare is one area ripe for attention. Despite knowing that accountable care models, which make providers responsible for all of patients’ spending over the course of the year, outperform other alternative payment models, growth in these ACO models has waned in recent years. Washington must act to accelerate growth in ACO models again. The ongoing pandemic has taught us that payment reform cannot continue to wait. As such, the Biden-Harris administration should act on ways to promote participation in and savings from alternative payment models like ACOs. 


David Pittman
NAACOS Health Policy and Communications Advisor
202-640-2689 or [email protected]