ACO Information


CHESS NextGen, LLC (CHESS NextGen) represents a group of health care providers who have come together to provide coordinated high quality care to the Medicare beneficiaries they serve. Coordinated care helps ensure Medicare beneficiaries get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

CHESS NextGen is administered by Cornerstone Health Enablement Strategic Solutions, LLC (CHESS) (, a physician-led company owned by North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Cornerstone Health Care, and Laboratory Corporation of America.

CHESS NextGen Participants include the physicians and their teams from Cornerstone Health Care, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, and Catawba Valley Medical Group. A number of Preferred Providers and skilled nursing facility affiliates also will help coordinate care as part of the program. Through the program, Participating Providers are focused on improving access to care, enhancing clinical quality and controlling costs.

In December 2015, CHESS NextGen chose to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) accountable care organization (ACO) model called the Next Generation ACO Model (Next Generation ACO), advancing the Administration’s health care system goals and building on experience from the Pioneer ACO Model and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Through this model, CMS has partnered with CHESS NextGen and other ACOs that are experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients and whose provider groups are ready to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward.

The Next Generation ACO Model is one of many innovative payment and care delivery models created under the Affordable Care Act, and is an important step toward advancing models of care that reward value over volume in care delivery.

CHESS provides the following information regarding its participation as a Medicare Next Generation ACO.

Accountable Care Organization Public Reporting Guidance

General and Organization Information

165 Kimel Park Drive, Suite B
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday

ACO Primary Contacts

Michael J. Berwanger, ACO Executive
(336) 821-7104

Melissa Pollock, CMS Liaison
(336) 821-7104

Composition of ACO

CHESS NextGen, LLC represents a provider-led partnership between physicians in the following organizations, organized to improve health care throughout the region.

Next Generation ACO Participants and Preferred Providers
See a full list of our Participating and Preferred Providers here.

ACO Participants in Joint Ventures between ACO Professionals and Hospitals

CHESS NextGen Governing Body

MemberTitle/PositionMember’s Voting PowerMembership TypeACO Participant TIN
Legal Business Name/DBA
Yates LackeyVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantWake Forest University Health Sciences
Richard Lord, MDVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantWake Forest University Health Sciences
Bradley ClarkVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantWake Forest University Health Sciences
Scott Polster, MDVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantCatawba Valley Medical Group
Kimberly CrewsVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantCatawba Valley Medical Group
Heather Spry, MDVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantCornerstone Health Care
Jason Kihneman, MDVoting Member10%ACO ParticipantCatawba Valley Medical Group
Elisabeth StambaughChair and Voting Member10%ACO ParticipantCornerstone Health Care
Robert Ford, MDVoting Member10%Medicare Beneficiary & Consumer Advocate
Robert Dough, MDVoting Member 10%ACO ParticipantWake Forest University Health Sciences

CHESS NextGen Key Clinical and Administrative

Medical Director:
Elisabeth Stambaugh, MD, Cornerstone Health Care

ACO Executive:
Michael J. Berwanger, CHESS

Compliance Official:
Melissa Pollock, CHESS

Chief Quality Officer:
Yates Lennon, MD, CHESS

Associated Committees and Key Leadership

Performance Improvement Committee (Quality):
Chair – Jason Kihneman, MD, Catawba Valley Medical Group

Compliance Committee:
Chair – Yates Lackey, Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Finance Committee:
Chair – Robert Dough, MD, Cornerstone Health Care

Aggregate Amount of Shared Savings/Losses

Performance Year 1: -$63,570.23

Performance Year 2: $4,347,584.04

Performance Year 3: $13,688,012

Performance Year 4: $9,586,066.72

Performance Year 5: $3,608,029.91

How Shared Savings Are Distributed

  • Proportion invested in infrastructure: 5%
  • Proportion invested in redesigned care processes and other resources necessary to improve outcomes and reduce Medicare costs for Beneficiaries: 35%
  • Proportion of distribution to ACO Participants and Preferred Providers: 60%

Quality Performance Results

See 2016 Quality Performance Results table here
See 2017 Quality Performance Results table here
See 2018 Quality Performance Results table here

See 2019 Quality Performance Results table here

See 2020 Quality Performance Results table here

For Patients

I’m a Medicare Beneficiary, so what does this mean for me?

  • I received a Voluntary Alignment form. What is this? (PDF)
  • What is the 3-day Skilled Nursing Facility Rule Waiver? (PDF)
  • What is the Telehealth Waiver? (PDF)
  • What is the Post-Discharge Home Visit Waiver? (PDF)

Public Disclosures

Next Generation ACO Participation Waiver

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions about CHESS NextGen or the Next Generation ACO Model, contact CHESS at 336-802-2661 or contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

CHESS Health Solutions Anonymous Reporting Hotline:

844-400-7620 or Click here to “Make a Report” online