Pursuant to G.L., c. 6D, §15, the HPC is required to "establish a process for certain registered provider organizations to be certified as accountable care organizations." The purpose of the certification program is to complement existing local and national care transformation and payment reform efforts, encourage value-based care delivery, and promote investments by all payers in high-quality and cost-effective care across the continuum. The HPC’s ACO Certification program also complements its PCMH Certification program.
Since its inception in 2017, the ACO Certification program has served to provide all-payer standards for ACO care delivery and transparent information for the public on ACO structures and operations. As of 2021, the HPC has certified sixteen ACOs that collectively represent 2.9 million attributed commercial, Medicare, and MassHealth patients in the Commonwealth. Certification is effective for a term of two years.
The program serves as a source for a series of briefs, profiles, and webinars that offer transparent, publicly available information about how ACOs are structured and operating today. These products can be found in the “Additional Resources” section below. Questions about the ACO Certification program may be sent to HPC-Certification@mass.gov.
ACO Learning, Equity, and Patient-Centeredness (LEAP) 2022-2023
The HPC updated its ACO Certification standards for certifications effective beginning in 2022. This first significant update to the certification standards since the ACO Certification program’s inception is known as ACO LEAP 2022-23, reflecting its emphasis on learning, equity, and patient-centeredness. The HPC solicited public comment and engaged stakeholders in late 2020 on the LEAP 2022-2023 standards and received feedback from a variety of respondents. The updated standards were reviewed by the HPC’s Care Delivery Transformation Committee at its September 30, 2020 meeting and approved by the HPC Board at its January 13, 2021 meeting.
The ACO LEAP 2022-2023 standards are designed to allow for a variety of ACO approaches to meeting core principles consistent with the “Learning Health System” framework developed by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). This approach is intended to focus on the ACO model as a catalyst for learning and improvement, recognizing ACO structures, processes, and approaches conducive to learning and improvement over time.
The 2022-2023 Application Requirements and Platform User Guide (PUG) is now available. Assistance, including weekly ‘office hours’ conference calls, and written guidance on application requirements, as well as training on use of the ACO application submission system, will be available from the HPC in the summer of 2021. We anticipate that the application submission system will be open to ACO applicants by September 1, 2021 and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 31, 2021.
Key Resources for 2022-2023 Applicants
2022-2023 Application Requirements and Platform User Guide (PUG)
PUG – Risk Contracts Template
PUG – Population Health Management Programs and Targets Template
PUG – Behavioral Health Integration Process and Targets Template
Recent and Upcoming Events
2020 - HPC-Certified ACOs
Health Collaborative of the Berkshires, LLC
Merrimack Valley Accountable Care Organization, LLC
2019 - HPC-Certified ACOs
Atrius Health, Inc.
Baycare Health Partners, Inc., inclusive of Pioneer Valley Accountable Care, LLC; and Baystate Health Care Alliance, LLC
Beth Israel Lahey Performance Network, inclusive of Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization, LLC (Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization); Lahey Clinical Performance Network, LLC; and Lahey Clinical Performance Accountable Care Organization, LLC
BMC Health System, Inc., inclusive of Boston Accountable Care Organization, Inc.; and BMC Integrated Care Services, Inc.
Cambridge Public Health Commission D/B/A Cambridge Health Alliance
Children’s Medical Center Corporation, inclusive of Children’s Hospital Corporation; and Boston Children’s Health Accountable Care Organization (Boston Children’s Accountable Care Organization)
Community Care Cooperative, Inc.
Mass General Brigham, inclusive of Partners HealthCare Accountable Care Organization, LLC
The Mercy Hospital, Inc., inclusive of Mercy Health Accountable Care Organization, LLC; Riverbend Medical Group, Inc.; and Trinity Health of New England ACO, LLC
Reliant Medical Group, Inc.
Signature Healthcare Corporation D/B/A Signature Healthcare
Southcoast Health System, Inc., inclusive of Southcoast Accountable Care Organization, LLC; and Southcoast Health Network, LLC
Steward Health Care Network, Inc., inclusive of Steward Integrated Care Network, Inc.; Steward Medicaid Care Network, Inc.; and Steward National Care Network, Inc.
Wellforce, Inc., inclusive of Wellforce Care Plan, LLC; Lowell General Hospital/Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization; Circle Health Alliance, LLC; New England Quality Care Alliance, Inc.; and New England Quality Care Alliance Accountable Care, Inc.