Accountable care organizations are likely here to stay despite concerns by long-term care leaders after an analysis revealed ACOs have saved the federal government more than $3 billion. 

ACOs lowered Medicare spending by $3.53 billion from 2013 to 2017, according to a report by analytic firm Dobson | DaVanzo & Associates. The analysis also found that Medicare saved $755 million after making shared savings payments.

ACO advocates called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress to find ways to “bolster ACO participation” to further drive savings following the findings. 

“There hasn’t been another voluntary initiative in Medicare that has generated billions in savings over such a short period of time,” Clif Gaus, Sc.D., president and CEO of the National Association of ACOs, said in a statement.

“Time and time again, ACOs have proven superior to Medicare’s other value-based care initiatives,” he added. 

While several have touted the success of ACOs, including CMS Administrator Seema Verma, others aren’t quite sold on them.

A recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission analysis indicated that ACOs haven’t done enough to reduce Medicare program spending. LTC providers have also said they want more from the ACO pie.

During an earnings call in November, Genesis Healthcare executives stated the company recognized about $1.7 million in income from the Medicare Shared Savings Program for the third quarter. They also announced plans to expand its ACO membership throughout the SNF industry.