Accountable care organizations under the Medicare Shared Savings Program show promise in both quality improvement and cost reduction, according to a new report.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General analyzed (PDF) payment and quality data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the first three years of the program and found that the Shared Savings Program ACOs achieved $1 billion in net savings to Medicare over three years and improved care quality more quickly than fee-for-service organizations.
ACOs in the program longer achieved higher cost savings than new ACOs, which indicates that these organizations are learning over time how to save more, according to the OIG. A third of the 428 ACOs reduced spending enough to earn back some of the savings, and the highest-performing ACOs reduced spending by an average of $673 per beneficiary during the program’s first years.
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