Vermont gets OK for all-payer model

Vermont's regulatory healthcare board approved a statewide all-payer ACO model to improve healthcare quality, coordination and spending.

The Green Mountain Care Board — which is in charge of lowering Vermont's healthcare costs while maintaining quality care — voted Wednesday to sign an agreement with CMS to implement an all-payer healthcare payment system. The approval comes after roughly two years of negotiations, VTDigger reports.

The Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model will incentivize healthcare value and quality under a uniform payment system for the majority of the state's providers. Under the model, physician payments from commercial insurers, Medicare and Medicaid will be based on monthly fees instead of a fee-for-service model. Physicians will operate under an ACO that will accept the payments. The ACO will then pay physicians based on quality of care.

Vermont will become the first state to implement an all-payer system for all providers. Maryland currently operates the only U.S. all-payer system for just hospital services.

 "This model is historic in terms of its scope, aiming to include almost all providers and people throughout the state in an all-payer ACO model to drive improved quality, better care coordination, healthier people and smarter spending," said Patrick Conway, MD, CMS principal deputy administrator and CMO.  

Vermont aims to have about 30 percent of primary care providers under the model by Jan. 1, 2018, with 80 percent under the model over a five-year period.

In addition to the all-payer model, CMS approved a five-year extension of Vermont's Medicaid program. 

More articles about ACOs:
7 Universal American ACOs strike partnership with Fresenius on kidney care
UNC Health, Cigna launch collaborative care initiative
Doylestown Health, Holy Redeemer plan to roll out Medicare ACO in 2017

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