The CMS hopes to see more accountable care organizations join the Medicare shared-savings program as the application period kicks off this week.
The agency recently launched new ways to attract providers, including automating the process that pairs patients with participating doctors.
Submitting an application does not bind an organization to participate. However, parties must submit a notice of intent to be eligible to apply. There currently are 480 shared-savings ACOs serving over 9 million Medicare beneficiaries.
An ACO is made up of a group of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who coordinate care for patients. And while ACOs garnered $466 million in program savings in 2015, many providers are still wary of the amount of risk the payment models require them to take on.
This year, 99 new ACOs joined the program, increasing the number of covered Medicare beneficiaries by 1.3 million year over year.
Also starting May 1 is an effort known as the accountable health communities demonstrations. Under the five-year experiment, groups will work to address social determinants of health such as housing instability, food insecurity, domestic violence and transportation for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Funded organizations include Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital and the Oregon Health & Science University, as well as government entities or associations such as the Baltimore Health Department and the Denver Regional Council of Governments.