Shared Savings Model Risk in the MSSP Program

January 14, 2022

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for accountable care organizations (ACOs) as part of the Affordable Care Act. Participating ACOs accept risk for the financial outcomes of their assigned populations and share in gains (and, depending on the ACO model, losses) when these are generated. Payers and providers who negotiate value-based contracts need to be aware of and account for model risk in their contracts, particularly as the sizes of populations under management become smaller.