“These innovative programs are showing encouraging initial results, while providing valuable lessons as we strive to improve our nation’s health care delivery system,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the CMS press statement on January 30, when the results were released. “Today’s findings demonstrate that organizations of various sizes and structures across the country are working with their physicians and engaging with patients to better coordinate and deliver high quality care while reducing expenditure growth.”
The results for the Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs show that, in their first 12 months, nearly half (54 out of 114) of the ACOs that started program operations in 2012 already had lower expenditures than projected. Of the 54 ACOs that exceeded their benchmarks in the first 12 months, 29 generated shared savings totaling more than $126 million – a strong start this early in the program. In addition, these ACOs generated a total of $128 million in net savings for the Medicare Trust Funds. ACOs share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs while meeting standards for high quality care. Final performance year-one results will be released later this year.
The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) supports the development of accountable care organizations and has spearheaded the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative to provide resources to physicians interested in transitioning to this model of care. Visit the TAC website here. [See an article from the January 25, 2014 edition of The Asheville Citizen Times on the Western North Carolina Pediatric Care Collaborative targeting obesity and asthma that was first featured on the TAC website, here.]
To read the National Association of ACOs take on the interim financial results, click here.