In a Health Affairs blog post, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma shared accountable care organization (ACO) participation information for the July 1 Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) start date. CMS announced 41 new ACOs, 25 ACOs re-entering the program and 140 renewing ACOs. Verma stated that 48 percent of ACOs starting on July 1 are taking two-sided risk. This is the first cohort of ACOs beginning participation under an overhauled MSSP intended to more swiftly move provider organizations into two-sided risk arrangements. Another cohort is slated to begin January 1, 2020. Given the short turnaround time between the final rule and the July application deadline, we anticipate that the January cohort will provide a more accurate picture of the impact of the new rule on MSSP participation.
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