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Medicare ACOs Continue Quality Improvement, Savings

Hospitals and other providers generated more than $466 million in savings in 2015 through participation in Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to recently released quality and financial performance results from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

More than 400 Medicare ACOs have been established across the country through the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and Pioneer ACO models. Participating providers can share in savings with Medicare when they demonstrate efficient care delivery and meet quality performance benchmarks. The CMS results show that 125 ACOs qualified to share in savings in 2015.

The results also show that quality performance improved considerably in Medicare ACOs. All participating Pioneer ACOs have improved their quality scores from their initial program year, and the mean quality score has increased each year of the model. ACOs participating in the MSSP improved on 84 percent of quality measures that were reported in both the 2014 and 2015 program years.

Medicare ACOs are a key tool that CMS is using to meet its goal of having 50 percent of Medicare payments tied to alternative payment models by 2018.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

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

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