18 Mar HCTTF Joins Coalition Letters Addressing COVID-19 Impacts on APMs
The Health Care Transformation Task Force joined NAACOs and other organizations in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing appreciation for significant efforts underway by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanded telehealth services to help ensure the safety of patients. As physicians are focused on defeating COVID-19 and using every resources at their disposal to do so, HCTTF and other organizations urge CMS to take steps to ensure COVID-19 does not derail the Alternative Payment Model (APM) and value movement. The organizations also sent a letter to leaders in Congress to ensure Medicare patients have access to the care management and coordination provided by clinicians and healthcare teams engaged in value based care models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and value based models run by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Summary of the Coalition Letter to CMS
- Clinicians in value-based arrangements face even higher levels of financial risk as a direct result of COVID-19. Certain programs and models do have extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policies in place; however, these vary widely across programs and in most cases are not adequate to address a crisis of this magnitude.
- Dealing with a pandemic of unprecedented scale requires mitigating tactics of unprecedented scale. The organizations requested that CMS hold clinicians harmless from performance-related penalties for 2020, particularly those in two-sided risk alternative payment models (APMs), make appropriate adjustments to spending targets, performance scores, patient attribution and risk adjustment, and consider additional options to support APM participants, including financial support and reinsurance.
- CMS should also delay upcoming program deadlines such as those related to alternative payment model applications and quality reporting.
Organizations who signed the letter acknowledge there is still much unknown about the full impact of the novel pandemic, and stand ready to work with CMS in the coming months to mitigate its effect on organizations that are leading the transition to value.