CMS wants primary-care docs to take on financial risk

The CMS on Monday announced that it's accepting applications for its direct contracting alternative payment model.

The pilot will allow providers that deliver evaluation and management services to take on financial risk for original, fee-for-service Medicare patients in exchange for less federal oversight and the opportunity to earn financial rewards. Under the new model, a wide range of organizations can volunteer to accept full or partial risk for managing the care of beneficiaries of traditional Medicare.

The new approach could help providers who couldn't participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program or the Next Gen Accountable Care Organization model because they didn't meet the requirements. By lowering the number of patients required to participate, the agency hopes more providers will volunteer. Next Gen ACO participants can move into the direct contracting model after the current model sunsets in 2020. The agency hopes that direct contracting will better align payer-provider incentives and create a predictable revenue stream for participating providers.

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