In a press release dated March 10, 2015, the CMS Innovation Center announced what it called the Next Generation ACO Model. For health care providers, this opens a new opportunity for developing an integrated model of care. According to CMS, the new model will require greater risk for ACOs than in current models, but it is also attempts to increase provider-beneficiary interaction by allowing beneficiaries “to communicate directly with their providers about their care preferences.”

This new model follows an announcement by CMS of its intent to move more of its Medicare payments providers from being based on quantity of care to being based on quality. Interested parties will have an opportunity to apply in 2015 or 2016. To participate in the first round of applications, a letter of Intent must be submitted by May 1, 2015, and an application by June 1, 2015.