Increased Flexibility for ACOs

On April 30, 2020 CMS posted an interim final rule amending the Shared Savings Program regulations in order to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage continued participation by accountable care organizations (ACOs). Changes include: (1) allowing ACOs whose current agreement periods expire on December 31, 2020, the option to extend their existing agreement period by 1 year; (2) clarifying the applicability of the program’s extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy to mitigate shared losses for the period of the COVID19 public health emergency; (3) adjusting program calculations to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on ACOs; and (4) expanding the definition of primary care services for purposes of determining beneficiary assignment to include telehealth codes for virtual check-ins, e-visits, and telephonic communication.

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