Nearly $62 million in Medicare savings generated by affiliated healthcare providers since 2016 came largely at the expense of skilled nursing facilities, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The agency announced the first-year results from its Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model. The care-coordination demo launched in 2016 and attracted 18 groups with 755 facilities in 15 states. SNF spending decreases reached statistical significance for three ACOs in particular, with a 3.1% or $16.1 million reduction in spending.
ACO leaders said they used methods such as performing rounds in skilled nursing facilities, harnessing telehealth and conducting visits at patients’ homes to find savings.
The Next-Generation model is CMS’ highest-risk initiative, and many participants have received waivers on telehealth and three-day hospital stays for Medicare coverage.
“These results provide further evidence that ACOs succeed under two-sided risk,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in August. “They are delivering value and providing quality care to patients and taxpayers even in their first performance year, and we believe that these results are achievable for other ACOs under similar incentives.”
The model is slated to run for five years ending on Dec. 31, 2020