On Tuesday, March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Innovation Center: the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model of payment and care delivery. According to the HHS statement, the ACOs in the Next Generation ACO Model will take on greater performance risk than ACOs in current models, while also potentially sharing in a greater portion of savings. The Next Generation ACO Model is part of the efforts by HHS to transition providers into alternative payment models that pay providers based on the quality rather than the quantity of care they provide Medicare patients.

CMS will accept ACOs into the Next Generation ACO Model through two rounds of applications in 2015 and 2016, with participation expected to last up to five years. Organizations interested in applying in 2015 must submit a Letter of Intent by May 1, 2015, and an application by June 1, 2015. Second round Letters of Intent and applications will be available in spring 2016.

Read the HHS statement: Affordable Care Act initiative builds on success of ACOs