The AAMC joined 13 other health care stakeholder groups on July 20 in a letter of support for the Value in Health Care Act of 2021, which would make critical reforms to Medicare’s value-based care models and accountable care organizations (ACOs). The groups also issued a press statement in support of the legislation upon introduction of the bill.
The letter, which was sent to the lead sponsors of the bill — Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) — highlighted the importance of the legislation’s goal of ensuring that value-based care models and ACOs can continue to provide high-quality patient care and generate savings. “With estimates showing almost 40 percent of healthcare dollars are tied to value-based payment and goals to increase that percent moving forward, the value-based care movement is at a critical juncture,” it stated.
The Value in Health Care Act would increase shared savings rates that beginner Medicare ACO participants receive, modify risk adjustment methodologies, remove barriers to ACO participation, and modify performance benchmarks. It would also increase technical support for ACO participants, incentivize advanced alternative payment model (APM) participation by providing enhanced bonuses, correct advanced APM qualification thresholds, and address APM overlap. The legislation also directs a Government Accountability Office study on the impact of value-based care models on health equity. The letter noted that these reforms “will ensure that value-based care models continue to be viable for physician and hospital participants.”
“This bill is a comprehensive approach that will strengthen our country’s value-based care program and ensure high quality, lower cost care for our nation’s patients,” the letter concluded.