The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has re-released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for its popular Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model. This FOA is limited to Track 1, the “Awareness” track, of the five-year AHC model, which is designed to address the health-related social needs (i.e., housing instability, hunger, violence, and transportation) of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
CMS decided to modify the Track 1 requirements and issue a new Track 1-specific opportunity in response to significant stakeholder feedback from the first round earlier this year. There are two key differences in this round, including a lower threshold of beneficiaries to be served each year (53,000, down from 75,000) and a higher maximum award amount ($1.17 million over five years rather than $1 million).
CMS plans to award 12 renewable one-year cooperative agreements to “bridge” organizations that propose models for implementing a common, comprehensive screening assessment for health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Track 1 is intended to test “whether increasing beneficiary awareness of available community services through information dissemination and referral will impact total health care costs and inpatient and outpatient health care utilization.” Applications are due November 3, 2016. While opportunities for Tracks 2 (“Assistance”) and 3 (“Alignment”) are now closed, those previous applicants are eligible to apply for Track 1. The FOA can be found here.