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NAACOS Welcomes the First Direct Contracting Entities
Fifty-Three to Participate in Implementation Period 

WASHINGTON — Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) announced that 53 Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs) are participating in the Direct Contracting Model’s Implementation Period currently underway. Direct Contracting is the next premier accountable care model from the CMS Innovation Center and seeks to build on the successful Next Generation ACO Model, while redesigning healthcare delivery and payment. Direct Contracting’s Implementation Period will allow organizations to sign up beneficiaries, build a history of claims data, and establish care coordination practices before financial accountability starts in April 2021. Information on these participating DCEs is available on this webpage

This initial Direct Contracting cohort demonstrates strong interest in this new model. These initial participants should be commended for their commitment to improving the quality of care for Medicare patients while lowering spending. The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) congratulates these organizations for their work. 

There will be more opportunities for organizations to join the Direct Contracting Model, including a 2022 start-date after the Next Generation ACO Model sunsets. NAACOS strongly advocated for extending the Next Generation Model through 2021 and for adding a 2022 start date for Direct Contracting. NAACOS is pleased to see the Direct Contracting Model move forward, and we also continue to urge the CMS Innovation Center to adopt programmatic changes to ensure that legacy ACOs have a level playing field to participate in this promising new accountable care model. 


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