Medicare ACOs Add 106
Federal officials have estimated that ACOs could generate about $940 million in savings over the next four years. However, Blum says more time is needed to assess the programs' effectiveness.
"These are programs that started just in 2012 and it's too early to talk about results. But we are very optimistic that the program will reduce overall costs, particularly the fact that we have so many more physicians coming into the program," he says.
Blum says he believes ACOs will demonstrate their worth by squeezing savings out of an inefficient healthcare delivery system. "There is clearly wide variation in healthcare spending across the country. There are clearly ways to improve care," he says.
"The opportunity that's presented by the ACO program is not to provide care in the same way at lower payment rates but to fundamentally change care, to improve the care coordination, to avoid unnecessary care, to reduce rehospitalizations, to improve post-acute care, to ensure that pharmacy benefits are aligned with traditional medical benefits."
Of the more than 250 ACOs in the shared-savings program, only eight have chosen the so-called "risk track" that provides greater earning potential if metrics and savings are met, but also leaves providers on the hook if those savings don't materialize.
In addition to the 106 new ACOs, Blum says an additional 60 ACO applications were rejected.
- Half of All Primary Care, Internal Medicine Jobs Unfilled in 2013
- How Digital Strategy Shapes Patient Engagement at Boston Children's Hospital
- CNO on Hospital Redesign: 'You Can't Over-Communicate'
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- Some Cancer Hospitals' Quality Data Will Soon Be Public
- CA Powers Up $80M HIE to 'Create Value in the Data'
- TJC Warns Hospitals of Deadly Medical Tubing Mistakes
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- The secret committee behind our soaring healthcare costs