On June 25, 2015, CMS announced modifications to the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Investment Model. These modifications are aimed at helping rural areas and small group practices participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).
The ACO Investment Model, which was first announced in October 2014, allows for pre-paid shared savings. The ACO Investment Model is designed to help provide support to organizations whose ability to invest in infrastructure and redesigned care processes would be improved with additional access to capital.
Pursuant to the two model design modifications announced on June 25, 2015, CMS will allow ACOs starting in the MSSP in 2015 to apply in the upcoming application round and will remove the 10,000 or fewer assigned beneficiary eligibility criteria for rural ACOs that started in the MSSP in 2015 (or will start in 2016).
The application period for ACOs that started in 2014 and 2015—or will start in 2016—will open July 1, 2015 and close July 31, 2015.