NAACOS Joins CMS in Welcoming 561 MSSP ACOs in 2018! 

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 5, 2018—Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 561 Accountable Care Organization (ACOs) will participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in 2018. There are 124 new ACOs, 65 that renewed their agreements in 2018 and 372 that are continuing in the program but were not up for renewal. The Innovation Center is expected to announce the 2018 class of Next Generation ACOs soon. These strong numbers demonstrate encouraging growth for a vital program committed to improving quality of care while reducing unnecessary costs. 

“ACOs play a critical role in transforming our nation’s healthcare system through value-based care. The growth of ACOs in 2018 shows the continued commitment from the Administration to increase value in the Medicare program through ACOs,” said Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of NAACOS. “ACOs demonstrate a commitment to achieving a healthier population and focus on quality, cost, wellness, and outcomes as their primary goals. We’re pleased to welcome the new and continuing ACOs.” 

When the MSSP began in 2012, ACOs collectively represented approximately two million Medicare beneficiaries who were a part of 114 MSSP ACOs. By 2018, there has been a significant jump with millions more beneficiaries who are part of 561 MSSP ACOs. NAACOS congratulates ACOs in this growth, especially during a period of frequent policy changes designed to improve the program. The 2018 class also shows growth in ACOs participating in two-sided risk models with 101 ACOs in two-sided MSSP tracks, including 55 in the new Track 1+ Model. Dr. Gaus notes, “We are pleased to see more ACOs moving into two-sided models. This growth is an encouraging sign that more ACOs are preparing to take on risk, but it’s vital to recognize all the time and effort for these ACOs to be ready to assume risk. We need to continue to improve the ACO program as a whole to provide the stability and demonstrated success necessary for ACOs to feel confident to enter into these risk-based ACO models.”

“We, along with the ACO community, are optimistic about the future of Medicare ACOs and we’re looking forwarding to seeing the program continue to grow and improve in the coming years,” said Dr. Gaus. NAACOS closely monitors and advocates for sustainable policy and programmatic changes to the ACO models and will continue to work closely with the administration, current ACOs, and those new to the program in 2018.