89 ACOs Join Medicare Shared Savings Program

January 13, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently welcomed 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program), bringing the total number of ACOs involved to 405.

Those ACOs will serve 7.2 million beneficiaries which, combined with the 19 ACOs participating in in the Innovation Center, will bring the total number of ACO involvement to 424 with 7.8 million beneficiaries served.

The Medicare Shared Savings Program is a test of the accountable care system created in 2012 under the Affordable Care Act. The program offers financial incentives based on meeting quality targets, with the most successful ACOs keeping a larger share of their cost savings. After three years, the ACOs that don’t produce cost savings incur financial penalties.

According to CMS, ACOs participating the in Shared Savings Program in 2014 added almost 17,000 healthcare providers, and the 89 new participants will bring in an estimated 23,000 more.

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CMS also reports that since 2012, Share Savings Program ACOs improved on 30 of 33 quality measures, which include patient ratings on clinician communication and blood pressure screening. This is compared with group practices, which improved on 17 of 22 quality measures. Cost savings are also promising, CMS says, with a total of $417 million saved between the Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer ACO model.

The programs are also contributing to better patient care, according to CMS, with data from 2013 showing 50,000 fewer deaths related to patient safety, 1.3 million fewer instances where patients were harmed, and $12 billion reduction in spending related to patient safety issues.

For a list of the 89 ACOs joining the program, visit: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/News.html.