The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services eliminated a program meant to increase the adoption of Accountable Care Organizations in rural areas, the agency announced Tuesday afternoon.
On the agency's website, CMS cites "broader efforts underway" as its reasoning for removing the ACO Transformation Track, which was part of an alternative payment demonstration for rural health system transformation, known as the Community Health and Rural Transformation Model. The Trump administration's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced the model in 2020.
CMS said in an emailed update on the program that it remains invested in creating opportunities to spur ACO adoption in rural communities. According to the email, the agency is developing a vision and strategy for accountable care, as it will look at lessons from the previous ACO Investment Model to inform future policies. It also expects to announce additional proposals soon.
CMS did not respond by publication to questions about the end of the program.
The next ACO proposals from CMS will likely focus on broader health equity, rather than geography, said David Pittman, senior policy advisor at the National Association of ACOs.