REACH for Next Gen ACO Status

April 1, 2022
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Thumbnail of ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) Model Infographic.
CMS’s new ACO model announced

In hopes of improving health equity and participant experience, The CMS Innovation Center recently unveiled its answer to the original ACO model: ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) Model. “As a national leader in ACO performance, Ochsner Accountable Care Network (OACN) is encouraged by the new REACH model’s intent to better align risk-based payment models, including MSSP; empower provider-led organizations; and leverage data to support provider care coordination, especially among underserved and high needs beneficiaries,” commented Beau Raymond, MD, OACN Medical Director. “Our clinically-led board and leadership team continue to study the new proposed model and will keep providers informed on developments.”

The new REACH model will retain core features of the original model, including allowing providers to take on higher levels of financial risk and reward for their traditional Medicare patients, while adding focus on health equity and social determinants of health by addressing the additional needs of underserved beneficiaries in several ways:

  • Health Equity Plans: Each participant ACO will be required to develop a Health Equity Plan and annually report on plan progress and plan outcomes.
  • Beneficiary Engagement Incentives and Beneficiary Enhancements: Participant ACOs can provide beneficiaries with engagement incentives and in-kind benefits to encourage better management of chronic conditions. An example of a beneficiary in-kind benefit is, potentially providing a hypertensive patient with a blood pressure cuff for home use.
  • Demographic Data Collection: ACO REACH participants are required to capture and report beneficiary reported demographic data, including race, ethnicity, language, gender identity and sexual orientation.

CMS plans to go live with participation beginning January 2023. OACN looks forward to sharing more with provider participants as it considers REACH’s potential for caring for our own Gulf South communities.

To learn more, click here for CMS’ resource page.

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