Noteworthy News

Are Medicare ACOs Living Up to the Hype?

Not yet.

At least that’s the conclusion to be drawn based on a report recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

cmsAccording to a CMS fact sheet,

…the 20 ACOs [accountable care organizations]in the Pioneer ACO Model and 333 Medicare Shared Shavings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in total savings in 2014, which includes all ACOs’ savings and losses. At the same time, 97 ACOs qualified for shared savings payments of more than $422 million by meeting quality standards and their savings threshold. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time.

Kaiser Health News, however, took the analysis a step further:

In August, Medicare officials released 2014 financial details showing that the so far the ACOs have not saved the government money. The 20 ACOs in the Pioneer program and the 333 in the shared savings program reported total savings of $411 million. But after paying bonuses, the ACOs recorded a net loss of $2.6 million to the Medicare trust fund, a fraction of the half a trillion dollars Medicare spends on the elderly and disabled each year.

Find the CMS fact sheet and a link to the financial reports here.

In addition to reporting on ACOs’ financial performance, Kaiser Health News solicited the views of several experts on ACOs. Find that article and commentaries by those experts here.

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