Congress Validates MIPS Program and Supports Risk-Based ACOs

Caravan Health reacts to the passage of Bipartisan Budget Act

Kansas City,

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Caravan Health today commented on the approval of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The two-year budget bill – approved by the U.S. Congress on Friday – includes minor amendments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The most notable change requires CMS to “increase the performance threshold…to ensure a gradual and incremental transition to the performance threshold” required by the mean/median calculation in the sixth year of the program (performance year 2022). 

The legislation modestly decreases the impact of MIPS on providers, and demonstrates continued preference for hospitals and providers participating in risk-bearing payment models such as track 1+, 2, and 3 of the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Despite thes changes, Caravan Health – who currently serves 38 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) – notes recent rumors that Congress would repeal MIPS have not come to pass and that Congress has again, supported the long-term structure of the MIPS program. 

“Congress is sending a strong signal to providers that value-based payments, MIPS and ACOs are here to stay,” said Lynn Barr, Caravan Health chief executive officer. “Our ACO-partner results show that participating in an ACO now will best prepare providers to enter into a risk-bearing model in the future.” 

The MIPS provisions will allow risk-bearing ACOs to offer incentives to promote in-ACO care and enable participants to provide telehealth services to patients in their homes. Combined, the incentives add to the appeal of the MIPS 5 percent bonus, available only to risk-bearing models.  

More information regarding the impact of the budget bill for ACOs can be read at Caravan Health provides ongoing guidance to health care systems transitioning to value-based payments and will continue to monitor and evaluate policy changes.  

About Caravan Health:
Caravan Health builds ACOs that jump-start population health programs with immediate quality and financial wins. Hospitals can finally get the high-quality scores, new competencies, and strong physician relationships that have been out of reach. By quickly producing positive results and accelerating health care transformation, Caravan Health engineers hospitals to succeed in population health payment models. For more information, visit


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