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CMS announces participants in Accountable Health Communities model

The Assistance and Alignment tracks of the Accountable Health Communities Model will begin on May 1 for a five-year performance period.

Susan Morse, Associate Editor

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced 32 participants for two of the three tracks in its Accountable Health Communities model released last year by the agency's Innovation Center. 

The Assistance and Alignment tracks of the Accountable Health Communities Model will begin on May 1 for a five-year performance period.

Over the next five years, CMS will implement and test three tracks to help bridge the social needs gap between between clinical and local service providers.

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These needs include housing instability, food insecurity, utility needs, interpersonal violence and transportation.

The organizations will help high-risk beneficiaries navigate needed  services and encourage an alignment at the community level.

For instance, in the assistance track, Community Health Network Foundation in Indianapolis will partner with the Eastside Redevelopment Committee, an organization of 50 businesses and community-based organizations, on improving health through support services, educational programs, and workforce development. They will serve residents of East Indianapolis, a community where 40 percent of the population relied on Indiana Medicaid in 2015 and had a high use of emergency room services.

In the Alignment track, the Oregon Health & Science University will work in nine rural counties in Oregon in a coordinated effort with the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network of primary care clinicians, community partners, and academicians.

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The model aims to address critical drivers of poor health and high healthcare costs to reduce avoidable utilization, lower costs and improve quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

"We know that innovation at the state and community level is essential to improve health outcomes and lower costs. In this model, we will support community-based innovation to deliver local solutions that address a broader array of health-related needs of people across the country," said Patrick Conway, MD, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation & Quality.  "As a practicing pediatrician, I know the power of a model like this to help address the health and social support needs of beneficiaries, and their families and caregivers."

CMS received applications for the Assistance and Alignment Tracks from a variety of organizations across the country.

After a review process, 12 Assistance track and 20 Alignment track bridge organizations across 193 counties in 23 states were chosen to participate in the model.

The 32 bridge organizations in the AHC model are diverse --varying in type from county governments, hospitals, universities, and health departments, size, location, and beneficiary demographics.

To view a list of the 32 organizations selected for the Assistance and Alignment tracks visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ahcm.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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