February 4th, 2014
Editor’s note: For more from David Muhlestein on the accountable care organization landscape, see his recent post “Accountable Care Growth In 2014: A Look Ahead.”
Active followers of health policy have eagerly awaited the outcome of the early Medicare Accountable Care Organizations, which could indicate how the overall accountable care movement is progressing. On January 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released preliminary financial data for the first two rounds of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) with mixed results. Of the 114 ACOs in the program, only 54 of the ACOs saved money and only 29 of those saved enough money to receive bonus payments. While the 54 ACOs that saved money accounted for a net savings of $128 million for Medicare, it’s uncertain if those savings were offset by any losses from the remaining organizations. Overall, the results were similar to last year’s Pioneer ACO results.
These preliminary results are interesting but are notably incomplete. There is still much to learn about how individual organizations did, what the overall effect was for the Shared Savings Program and how this will affect the program going forward. There are, though, some key takeaways that can be garnered from this release.Read the rest of this entry »