News Release
May 21, 2021

NAACOS Disappointed with No Extension of the Next Generation ACO Model

Attributed to Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of the National Association of ACOs 

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) is disappointed the Biden Administration declined our request to extend the Next Generation ACO Model through next year, as it announced today. Next Gen’s extension was a top advocacy priority for us. We understand the constraints and narrow timeframe the CMS Innovation Center had to work under to prolong the model and disagree with findings in formal evaluations, which we believe were flawed. However, we appreciate today’s move to allow Next Gen ACOs a limited opportunity to apply for Direct Contracting to starting next year. This will be a viable path for some to continue participation in an innovative accountable care model like Direct Contracting. Non-Next Gens won’t be granted this limited exception unless they have already applied and deferred their exception. 

We continue to advocate that there should be a permanent, Next Gen-like ACO model that provides a better bridge between MSSP Enhanced and the full capitation option under Direct Contracting. With additional time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should consider using Innovation Center authority to test certain successful and popular concepts under Next Gen within the Shared Savings Program, as it did with Track 1+. To date, Next Gen ACOs have saved Medicare more than $1 billion compared to the CMS-generated benchmark and netted $616 million to the Medicare Trust Fund after accounting for shared savings, shared losses, and discounts paid to CMS. It is a successful program, and policymakers should look for additional ways to build upon its success. 


David Pittman
NAACOS Senior Policy Advisor
202-640-2689 or [email protected]