CMS accepting letters of intent to apply for direct contracting model

Eligible hospitals that wish to apply to participate in the Medicare Direct Contracting Model but have not yet submitted a nonbinding letter of intent may do so before they apply for the first performance year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today.

Applications for the first performance year are due July 6. The model, which will offer two primary care payment options beginning next April, is open to hospitals that employ clinicians as well as to critical access hospitals and rural health clinics.

CMS has postponed the implementation period for aligning beneficiaries, which will start in October rather than July. Hospitals accepted to participate in the model can defer their start date and participate with the model’s second cohort in January 2022 if they choose. 

For more on these and other COVID-19-related adjustments to CMS alternative payment models, see the recent AHA Special Bulletin

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