In a one-time expansion to the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), NORC is administering the COVID-19 Supplement Survey to an additional sample of Medicare beneficiaries aligned to Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations. In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new accountable care organization (ACO) model called the Next Generation ACO Model (NGACO Model). Medicare ACOs are comprised of groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers and suppliers who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high-quality care at lower costs to their Original Medicare patients. The goal of care coordination is to ensure that patients, especially those with chronic conditions, get the right care at the right time while avoiding medical errors and unnecessary duplication of services. At the end of 2020, there were 37 ACOs participating in the NGACO Model, serving over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries. Interviewers will be completing approximately 5,000 15-minute interviews over the phone with beneficiaries whose doctors are part of an NGACO for this supplement.
This data collection will help CMS to better understand NGACO beneficiaries’ knowledge of the outbreak and potential program changes in response to the pandemic. The questionnaire content explores the impact of COVID-19 on topics such as access to telemedicine during the pandemic; forgone health care; COVID-19 exposure, symptoms, testing, and treatment; COVID-19 vaccine uptake or likelihood of getting a vaccine; knowledge of COVID-19 and prevention activities; and effects of COVID-19 on mental, physical, economic, and social well-being.
With care coordination and increased access to telehealth among the goals of the NGACO Model, the NGACO COVID-19 Supplement presents an opportunity to assess its success on those fronts. Further, this data collection provides an opportunity to descriptively compare experiences of beneficiaries in organizations with experience with care coordination and telehealth (such as NGACOs) with the experiences of beneficiaries in Fee-for-Service Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. This supplement will inform future care for Medicare beneficiaries as part of accountable care innovation models, and will specifically inform care that is sensitive to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Were you contacted by our interviewers?
This survey was designed to include Medicare beneficiaries whose doctors are part of a Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO). We have scientifically selected your name from the Medicare administrative files to participate, and we cannot substitute another person for you in this study. Each study participant represents all of the nation's Medicare beneficiaries who are part of this group. Your experiences represent thousands of other people, making your participation critical. Invited beneficiaries can contact the study via
NGACO-COVID@norc.org or (877) 994-6462.