CMS has reported that nearly half of the organizations in its largest test of accountable care slowed Medicare spending, but only 29 of the 114 ACOs saved enough to receive bonus payments. In April 2012, CMS launched its shared-savings program, one of two Medicare accountable care initiatives aimed at saving money and improving quality in exchange for the chance to keep some of the savings it produced.
The shared-savings program launched with 27 organizations and added another 87 organizations three months later. During the first 12 months of the effort, Medicare spending was lower than projected among 54 of the ACOs; 29 ACOs reduced Medicare spending enough to keep $126 million.The shared-savings program has expanded to more than 340 ACOs.
The Medicare Pioneer ACO program, the second of the two Medicare accountable care initiatives, had similar results. Nine of the 32 Pioneer ACOs dropped out after the first year; seven switched to the shared-savings program and the remaining 23 organizations saved Medicare $147 million. Nine saved enough to receive a share of the amount.
Experts have called Medicare’s accountable care results promising.
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