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ACOs Show Uneven Progress

Greg Freeman, April 7, 2014

More than 25,000 physicians earned incentives by working with their ACO to successfully report quality measures. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the results show the ACO program is moving in the right direction.

"These innovative programs are showing encouraging results in delivering high quality, lower cost health care, while providing valuable lessons as we strive to improve our nation's healthcare delivery system," Sebelius said.

The MSSP was created to facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to improve the quality of care for Medicare FFS beneficiaries and reduce the growth in costs. ACOs share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in healthcare costs while meeting standards for high-quality care. Final performance year 1 results will be released later in 2014.

The Oakwood Accountable Care Organization, LLC (Oakwood ACO), is one of the MSSP programs eligible to share in savings. Belal Abdallah, MD, chairman of the Oakwood ACO board of managers, says the early ACO experience bodes well for the future.

"The Oakwood ACO is proud that its Oakwood physician and health system partners have demonstrated their ability to lower the cost of care while maintaining quality for its attributed Medicare beneficiaries," Abdallah says. "In fact, we are particularly proud that we exceeded our target."

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