Medicare’s Shared Savings Program and its accountable care organizations are showing promise as a means of reducing Medicare spending and improving the quality or care.
Or so concludes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.
According to a new OIG report,
Over the first 3 years of the program, 428 participating Shared Savings Program ACOs served 9.7 million beneficiaries. During that time, most of these ACOs reduced Medicare spending compared to their benchmarks, achieving a net spending reduction of nearly $1 billion. At the same time, ACOs generally improved the quality of care they provided, based on CMS data on quality measures. In the first 3 years, ACOs improved their performance on most (82 percent) of the individual quality measures. ACOs also outperformed fee-for-service providers on most (81 percent) of the quality measures. Further, a small subset of ACOs showed substantial reductions in Medicare spending while providing high-quality care. These high-performing ACOs reduced spending by an average of $673 per beneficiary for key Medicare services during the review period. In contrast, other Shared Savings Program ACOs and the national average for fee-for-service providers showed an increase in per beneficiary spending for key Medicare services.
For a closer look at what the OIG examined and how the study was conducted, go here to find the report Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations Have Shown Potential for Reducing Spending and Improving Quality.