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Spotlight On Policy

        2020 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Performance Information Is Now Available on Care Compare

        The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added new Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance information to the doctors and clinicians section of the Medicare Care Compare site (https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/). Care Compare helps patients and caregivers search for and compare the care providers enrolled in Medicare. CMS notes that “publicly reporting 2020 QPP performance information helps empower patients to select and access the right care from the right provider.” QPP performance information can also be found in the Provider Data Catalog (PDC): https://data.cms.gov/provider-data/. Visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Care-Compare-DAC-Initiative for a full description of the changes and how to contact the QPP Service Center.

        CMS Makes Nursing Home COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Data Available Online

        CMS is now providing COVID-19 booster shot information for individual nursing homes, including resident and staff vaccination rates and their comparison to the national and state averages. You can search for a nursing home here: https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/#search; and find the complete national data here: https://data.cms.gov/covid-19/covid-19-nursing-home-data. These data are updated weekly.
        Nursing homes are required to report vaccination information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Nursing homes must also educate residents and staff on both the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccine and offer the vaccine (https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-21-19-nh.pdf).
        As of February 27, 2022, CMS reported 87.3% vaccinated residents per facility nationally as well as 84.9% vaccinated staff. The national percentage of vaccinated residents and staff with booster doses per facility was at 73.4% for residents and 40.5% for staff. There have been over a million COVID-19 confirmed cases in both residents and staff, 151,191 total resident deaths, and 2,306 total staff deaths.

        CMS Innovation Center Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) Model Transition Announcement

        As part of its renewed vision and strategy for driving health system transformation, the CMS Innovation Center has released a Request for Applications for the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) Model: https://innovation.cms.gov/media/document/aco-reach-rfa. The application portal closes on April 22.
        ACO REACH is “a redesign of the Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) Model in response to stakeholder feedback, participant experience, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, including a commitment to advancing health equity” (press release, Feb. 24, 2022, https://go.cms.gov/37ydGPr). On the ACO REACH website, CMS reports that this new name was chosen “to better align the name with the purpose of the model: to improve the quality of care for people with Medicare through better care coordination, reaching and connecting health care providers and beneficiaries, including those beneficiaries who are underserved, a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration” (https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/aco-reach). The site also outlines the REACH model.
        Further, in an effort to improve transparency, CMS has released more information on current GPDC Model participants, which can be found in the “Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) Model Participant Overview” (https://innovation.cms.gov/media/document/gpdc-model-participant-summary).
        GPDC will transition to ACO REACH on January 1, 2023. To continue participation, current GPDC Model participants must agree to meet all the ACO REACH Model requirements by that deadline.