The new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model bridges clinical care and social services to help address Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries' health-related social needs. Physician practices are among the list of eligible applicants who can take part in this new CMS model.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a funding opportunity of up to $157 million to test a five-year model to fill a critical gap in health care. The CMS innovation model focuses on increasing awareness of and referrals to community services, assisting with community service navigation, and encouraging collaboration among clinical and community services.
The AHC model identifies and addresses health-related social needs in areas such as housing instability and quality, food insecurity, utility needs, violence, and transportation needs. By targeting these areas, CMS will test if systematically screening for such needs and attempting to address them at the local level can improve health, enhance quality of care, and reduce health care costs.
To learn more and evaluate whether this new funding opportunity is right for your practice, visit the CMS website and register for an informational webinar taking place this month. To participate in the new AHC model, submit a letter of intent by Feb. 8 and apply by March 31.
Action, Jan. 18, 2016