HCTTF Statement on COVID-19 Medicare APM Flexibilities

Statement by Jeff Micklos, Executive Director, Health Care Transformation Task Force

The Health Care Transformation Task Force commends CMS for taking decisive action to provide relief from the impact of COVID-19 on alternative payment model (APM) participants. The announcement today provides much-needed clarity about the Administration’s commitment to continued delivery system reform and to avoid substantial departures from these programs due to the pandemic. With the COVID-19 situation still unfolding, this relief will allow APM participants to focus on what they do best: providing high-quality, person-centered care to the communities they serve.  

A shining light through the darkness of this pandemic are stories from the frontlines about how value-based health systems and physician practices have used population health infrastructure to quickly pivot to new, virtual models of care while maintaining dedicated care management. We strongly urge CMS to use available emergency relief funds to make APM infrastructure support payments to all participants in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and all models qualifying as Advanced APMs to help fortify value-based provider operations due to care delivery disruption. 

It remains early to make an informed decision about the long-term impact of COVID-19; the changing the landscape will undoubtedly affect underlying assumptions of current APMs, including how 2020 spending will be treated when setting future benchmarks. We look forward to working with CMS to develop solutions for the continued support for value-based transformation.

About the Health Care Transformation Task Force

Health Care Transformation Task Force is a unique collaboration of patients, payers, providers and purchasers working to lead a sweeping transformation of the health care system. By transitioning to value-based models that support better health, better care and lower costs, the Task Force is committed to accelerating the transformation to value in health care.