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Medicare ACOs Improve Quality, Save Money

Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) showed improvement in the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and saved money, according to recently released quality and financial performance results from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ACOs that belong to the Pioneer ACO Model improved in 28 of 33 quality measures reported, while ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) reported improvements in 27 of 33 quality measures in 2014. Quality of care measures for ACOs include patient satisfaction, clinician communication, and use of electronic health records. The performance results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program are more likely to perform better and qualify for shared savings.

More than 420 Medicare ACOs have been established across the country (as of the beginning of 2015) to coordinate care for more than 7.8 million patients while generating financial savings. Eligible providers can participate by creating or joining ACOs, through which they can share savings with Medicare when they demonstrate efficient care delivery and meet quality performance benchmarks.

Contact Beth Feldpush, DrPH, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, at or 202.585.0111 with questions.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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