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HHS Endorses First Medicare Alternative Payment Model for Emergency Medicine

Alex Azar, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has publicly supported the Acute Unscheduled Care Model (AUCM) developed by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). This is the first Medicare alternative payment model that focuses on emergency medicine.

According to ACEP, “the AUCM would improve quality and reduce costs by allowing emergency physicians to accept some financial risk for the decisions they make around discharges for certain episodes of acute unscheduled care.”

HHS is focusing on four areas when it comes to value-based care: empowering beneficiaries, enabling healthcare providers to be accountable patient navigators, paying for outcomes, and preventing disease. Secretary Azar said in his statement, “To successfully transform health care, we need strategies and models that provide better care at a lower price.”

This new bundled payment model will help ensure that patients are discharged safely and help prevent avoidable events such as hospitalizations or readmissions. It’s a step in the right direction when it comes to providing quality care to patients—while reducing the unsustainable costs currently associated with our healthcare system.

As an endorsed partner of ACEP, Collective Medical is excited to support this innovative, value-based payment approach. Our collaborative technology has been proven to help reduce readmissions and lower costs, and will help hospitals leverage the financial benefits associated with this new bundled payment model. We are excited to work with ACEP, participating hospitals across the country, and HHS in transforming care at a lower price.

Vatsala Pathy
VP of Policy