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NAACOS Statement on Evaluation of Next Generation

Accountable Care Organization (NGACO) Model 

Clif Gaus
President and CEO
National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) 

August 27, 2018 

We applaud CMS for conducting a thorough evaluation of the first year of the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model. The evaluation compares outcomes for 477,197 Medicare beneficiaries in Next Gen ACOs to a comparison group of beneficiaries cared for by non-ACO providers. The difference-in-differences evaluation is the gold standard for meaningful program evaluation. The results clearly show that Next Gen ACOs, which include mostly experienced Medicare ACOs, collectively saved Medicare money while maintaining quality. It’s important to note that these ACOs have traveled a long way under various models in transitioning to value-based payment care, and we are glad to see CMS recognizing their success.  

We encourage CMS to conduct the same type of rigorous evaluation of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs, which now number 561 ACOs caring for 10.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. The MSSP program has never been formally evaluated by CMS, and we believe a rigorous independent evaluation would demonstrate that MSSP ACOs have saved billions of dollars while significantly improving quality. 

We share CMS’ goal of moving providers to value-based care. The Medicare ACO program, including the Next Generation Model and the Medicare Shared Savings Program, is the largest value-based payment model in the country and an essential tool in moving the health system toward better value. 

About NAACOS. The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) is the largest association of Medicare ACOs, and serves over 4 million beneficiary lives. Over 300 MSSP, Next Generation, Pioneer and commercial ACOs comprise NAACOS membership. NAACOS is an ACO member-led and member-owned non-profit organization that works on behalf of ACOs across the nation to improve the quality of Medicare delivery, population health and outcomes, and healthcare cost and efficiency.