Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for applications for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (Innovation Center) Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model. Over a five-year period, CMS will implement and test the three-track AHC model to support local communities in addressing the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by bridging the gap between clinical and community service providers. Social needs include housing instability, food insecurity, utility needs, interpersonal violence and transportation.
CMS has announced the participants for two of the tracks, the Assistance and Alignment Tracks, of the AHC model. By addressing critical drivers of poor health and high health care costs, the model aims to reduce avoidable health care utilization, impact the cost of health care, and improve health and quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The organizations in the AHC Assistance Track will provide person-centered community service navigation services to assist high-risk beneficiaries with accessing needed services. The organizations in the AHC Alignment Track will also provide community service navigation services, as well as encourage community-level partner alignment to ensure that needed services and supports are available and responsive to beneficiaries’ needs.