News Release
December 12, 2019 

NAACOS Launches Direct Contracting Taskforce
Work Will Help the Provider Community Understand and Prepare
for New Innovation Center Model

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) today announced the formation of a Direct Contracting Taskforce that will offer tools to assess and participate in the latest accountable care model from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Taskforce will also create a line of communication to CMS in advocating for changes. 

Direct Contracting, first announced in April with additional details released in November, is the CMS Innovation Center’s next prominent accountable care model that will make groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers responsible for patients’ total cost of care throughout the year. It’s viewed as a successor to the successful Next Generation ACO Model, providing opportunities for new entrants and additional tools for providers interested in taking on higher levels of risk for greater rewards. 

The Taskforce will produce webinars and resources that analyze key details and aspects of Direct Contracting, provide advocacy to shape the model, house key resources on a standalone webpage, hold in-person conference sessions, and provide a dedicated listserv to engage with peers about the model, among other benefits. The Taskforce will host a December 13 webinar to review key details of the model, discuss key considerations and implications for ACOs, collect feedback and answer questions. Participation in the Taskforce is complimentary for those interested in learning more about this model. 

“As the accountable care movement grows and evolves, so too must NAACOS. We are embracing new population health-focused payment and delivery models like Direct Contracting,” said Clif Gaus, Sc.D., NAACOS President and CEO. “Our Taskforce will help drive participation and ensure Direct Contracting will be the next in a growing line of successful accountable care models.” 

The Taskforce will be led by NAACOS staff and industry leaders, including Pam Halvorson, lead executive for operations at UnityPoint Accountable Care in Iowa; Allison Brennan, NAACOS senior vice president of government affairs; and Dave Ault, NAACOS consultant, former division director at the Innovation Center and counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels. 

“Shared learnings and collective advocacy through NAACOS and this new Taskforce should prove to be a powerful resource for Direct Contracting participants,” Halvorson said. “UnityPoint Accountable Care has been one of the most successful Next Generation ACOs, and I look forward to aiding our members in considering this new Innovation Center model.”


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