KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Caravan Health announced a new initiative to bring rural providers into Medicare ACOs with no costs and no risk with the ACO Transformation Track of CMS' new Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) model. This new opportunity will give rural providers a foothold in value-based payment with Caravan's proven model for ACO success.
The CHART ACO Track is based on the success of a previous CMS initiative, the ACO Investment Model (AIM), which provided start-up funds to small rural ACOs. The difference is that financial risk is now coming much more quickly in Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. New CHART ACOs will start in January 2022 in Pathways to Success, and most will have to take on financial risk for at least three years. Caravan understands that taking on this financial risk can be daunting for any provider new to risk-based payment—and next to impossible for rural providers.
"Our proven formula for ACO success has demonstrated that rural providers can thrive in value-based care."
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Rural health systems are hesitant to take on downside risk for good reason. There are serious health access issues facing rural communities, including widespread hospital closures, provider shortages, long distances, and even longer wait times. Rural providers are understandably reluctant to dive into value-based payment without help.
Caravan has proven that rural providers can succeed in value-based payment with the right support. Caravan supported more than half the small rural ACOs in the AIM, which saved more than $380 million from 2016 to 2018 for Medicare. Just like AIM, upfront support from CHART is repaid to CMS through earned shared savings.
"We understand the unique challenges rural providers face and recognize that many will be reluctant to move into risk-based payment without protection against financial ruin," said Lynn Barr, Caravan Health Founder & Executive Chair. "Our proven formula for ACO success has demonstrated that rural providers can thrive in value-based care with the proper tools and resources. Just as we did with AIM, we are ready to support rural providers and communities by creating this free, no risk option."
Caravan Health, the nation's leader in accountable health care, is well-positioned to support providers in this venture. Caravan's clients consistently lead the nation in performance measures. Recently, Becker's Hospital Review announced its annual Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals comprised of national leaders. One of the 10 Caravan Health clients featured on the list included Central Montana Medical Center (CMMC). "This award is particularly meaningful because the criteria used to evaluate performance spans a multitude of areas including managing risk, quality performance, patient outcomes and satisfaction, and operating costs," commented Cody Langbehn, CMMC CEO.