CMS Ends Direct Contracting Models, Retools as ACO-Centric Program

Posted Sunday, February 27, 2022

CMS is retooling the embattled direct contracting payment demonstrations into an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. Direct contracting, initiated by the Trump Administration, has come under fire from lawmakers in recent weeks.

CMS is eliminating the Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) model and replacing it with the Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH). The agency says the new program reflects its “refreshed” priorities for payment system demonstrations.

The agency is also eliminating the Geographic Direct Contracting Model, which was paused in March 2021.

“The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to promoting value-based care that improves the health care experience of people with Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace coverage,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “To fulfill that commitment, CMS, through the Innovation Center, is testing new models of health care service delivery and payment to improve the quality of care that people receive, including those in underserved communities.”

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