On-demand Webcast

Am I Ready for Risk in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model ACO?

Risk in Advanced Alternative Payment Model ACO

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An accountable care organization (ACO) is a group of health care providers who agree to share responsibility for the quality, cost and coordination of care with aligned incentives for a defined population of patients. A variety of risk-sharing cost reduction models have emerged within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

As health care moves from volume- to value- based, it is extremely important to understand the alignment of risk-related to physician payment.

Before accepting risk contracts, physicians need a comprehensive knowledge of risks, rewards, and the underlying cost of doing business. A physician takes on risk when agreements are made, which assume responsibility for delivering or arranging health care services to patients when the total payment for delivering those services has the potential to be greater or less than the total cost for such services.

The overarching goal of a value-based payment model is to provide quality, cost-efficient care for the patient, while also compensating physicians through incentives that value their services. 

About the Webcast

Am I Ready for Risk in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model ACO?  

Free to AAFP members

Learning Objectives

After completing this webcast, you should be able to:

  • Identify basic elements of risk and evaluate readiness for risk
  • Describe how improvement in performance enables entities to take on risk
  • Recognize how risk is related to physician payment
  • Apply concepts to determine readiness to participate in a Medicare Alternative Payment Model ACOs.

Estimated time required to complete the full webcast: 60 minutes

Original release date of webcast: May 2, 2017.

Presenting Faculty

Melissa Gerdes, MD, FAAFP
Dr. Melissa Gerdes was chief medical officer of the Methodist Alliance for Patients and Physicians (MAP2) in Dallas, Texas. MAP2 was one of the first Medicare ACOs to generate savings, scoring top quartile in quality by coordinating 15,000 Medicare beneficiaries’ care with emphasis on quality, patient experience, and cost. To date, this Medicare Shared Savings Track 1 program has saved CMS over $40 million in three years.

Dr. Gerdes has just started a new role as Medical Director of Clinical Effectiveness with John Muir Health in Walnut Creek, California. She will lead clinical integration, population health, quality improvement, and safety for the 1000 physician member John Muir Physician Network.

Dr. Gerdes earned a BS in Communications at Northwestern University. She earned her MD at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, and completed her residency at the University of Texas at Tyler, where she was chief resident. She has also served as the President of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and chaired the Commission on Quality and Practice for the AAFP.


The material presented here is being made available by the American Academy of Family Physicians for educational purposes only. Please note that medical information is constantly changing; the information contained in this activity was accurate at the time of publication. This material is not intended to represent the only, nor necessarily best, methods or procedures appropriate for the medical situations discussed. Rather, it is intended to present an approach, view, statement, or opinion of the faculty, which may be helpful to others who face similar situations.

The AAFP disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages resulting to any individual using this material and for all claims that might arise out of the use of the techniques demonstrated therein by such individuals, whether these claims shall be asserted by a physician or any other person. Physicians may care to check specific details such as drug doses and contraindications, etc., in standard sources prior to clinical application. This material might contain recommendations/guidelines developed by other organizations. Please note that although these guidelines might be included, this does not necessarily imply the endorsement by the AAFP.