Mature ACOs more likely to hit targets

CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt has said recent changes to ACOS in the Medicare Shared Savings program will reward those with good quality.
CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt has said recent changes to ACOS in the Medicare Shared Savings program will reward those with good quality.

More than 100 Medicare accountable care organizations qualified for shared savings payments in 2015 by meeting quality performance standards and hitting their savings threshold, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in August. The total cumulative savings for the federal government through the program is up to $1.29 billion.

ACOs with more experience showed more improvement than newer participants, Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer, said during a media call. For example, 42% of ACOs that started in 2012 generated savings above their Minimum Savings Rate.

ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings program also improved their quality rankings. All of the 12 ACOs participating in the Pioneer Model improved their quality scores over three years. While the beneficiary cohort decreased by nearly one-third last year, the Pioneer Model generated more than $37 million in government savings. 

CMS wants 50% of all Medicare payments delivered through alternative models by 2018.