NAACOS announces taskforce for direct contracting

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) is launching a Direct Contracting Taskforce to offer tools and resources to assess and participate in CMS’ new direct contracting payment model. NAACOS’ taskforce will also create a line of communication to CMS to advocate for changes

CMS finalized direct contracting models last month after announcing five new models earlier this year. Direct contracting is considered to be a successor of the Next Generation ACO model, which launched in January 2016 and ends in 2020. Doctor groups, hospitals and other healthcare providers will be responsible for patients’ total cost of case under direct contracting models and can participate in risk-based incentives. The announcement of direct contracting was largely applauded by industry groups as a next step for ACO participants.

“As the accountable care movement grows and evolves, so too must NAACOS,” said NAACOS President and CEO Clif Gaus, ScD. “We are embracing new population health-focused payment and delivery models like Direct Contracting. Our Taskforce will help drive participation and ensure Direct Contracting will be the next in a growing line of successful accountable care models.”

Specifically, the taskforce will offer webinars and resources covering key details and aspects of direct contracting, provide advocacy to help shape the model with CMS and hold in-person conference sessions. In addition, the taskforce will act as an online resource with a standalone webpage and provide a dedicated listserv to engage with peers about the model. NAACOS staff and industry leaders will make up the taskforce, including:

  • Pam Halvorson––lead executive for operations at UnityPoint Accountable Care in Iowa
  • Allison Brennan––NAACOS senior vice president of government affairs
  • Dave Ault––NAACOS consultant, former division director at the Innovation Center and counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels

“Shared learnings and collective advocacy through NAACOS and this new Taskforce should prove to be a powerful resource for Direct Contracting participants,” Halvorson said.

The taskforce kicks off its webinars on Dec. 13, complimentary to participants, covering key details and aspect of direct contracting, answering questions and taking feedback.