Hospitals urge HHS to fix, not end, direct contracting model

In a Feb. 14 letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, hundreds of healthcare organizations urged HHS to refine the Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model for Medicare patients and providers rather than scrap it.

The letter states that ending the model would undermine health systems' transition to value-based care and hurt underserved populations. Canceling the model would also diminish the work of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and CMS, the letter states.

Limiting participation to certain types of direct-contracting entities, such as provider-led ones, and having more protections could improve the model, the healthcare organizations argued. And a rebranding would help show that the model is part of a transition to accountable care, they stated.

"Many of the recent criticisms against the model are misleading and flat-out false," the letter states. "Traditional Medicare patients maintain their freedom of choice to see any willing provider. They keep all of their rights and protections, and in fact, get more benefits and lower cost care through the model. … This is not the end of traditional Medicare, as advocates have falsely claimed, but is a way to provide additional beneficiary and provider tools as part of a whole-person care approach." 

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