Hospital ACO costs are rising because of the sicker patients they attract, a new study suggests.
According to researchers at University of Wisconsin Health, patients served by traditional Medicare or by physician-led accountable care organizations often switch to hospital-led Medicare ACOs as they encounter health problems, bringing those hospital-led ACOs sicker patients than those otherwise served by such organizations. As a result, the per patient costs of hospital-led Medicare ACOs often rise more than those of the costs of traditional Medicare and physician-led ACOs. Often, these shifts are encouraged by patients’ medical specialists.
Hospital-led Medicare ACOs have been criticized for their failure to control rising costs but this adverse selection may explain that failure, researchers found.
Learn more in the Health Affairs study “Hospital ACO costs are rising because of the sicker patients they attract, a new study suggests.”