Fourteen national health groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American College of Physicians, are lauding the reintroduction of a bill that would accelerate Medicare’s move from a fee-for-service to a value-based care model.

The groups sent a joint letter to the co-authors of The Value in Health Care Act, saying the legislation would strengthen the Medicare Shared Savings Program by updating it, as well as recognizing and rewarding accountable care organizations (ACOs). 

“The Value in Health Care Act of 2021 makes a number of important reforms to strengthen Medicare’s value-based care models and Accountable Care Organizations to ensure that these models continue to produce high quality care for the Medicare program and its beneficiaries as well as to generate savings for taxpayers,” the letter said.

ACOs are healthcare organizations that tie provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the cost of care. Value-based care is a reimbursement model that ties payments to the quality of care and patient outcomes.

The Value in Health Care Act extends the 5% advanced alternative payment models (APM) incentive payments for an additional six years and authorizes a study of the overlap of various Medicare alternative payment models. It also mandates a report by the Government Accountability Office on health outcomes and racial disparities in Medicare patients cared for by ACO participants compared to traditional Medicare and not assigned to any other APM.