Medicare accountable care organization initiatives to improve how the
health system cares for patients
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 121 new
participants – representing 49 states and the District of Columbia – in
an innovative initiative – Medicare Accountable Care Organizations
(ACOs) – designed to improve the care patients receive in the health
care system and lowers costs.
AUGUSTA, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accountable Care Coalition of Northeast Georgia was selected as one of
100 new Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations
(ACOs), providing Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality,
coordinated care across the United States, the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS) announced. That brings the total to 434 Shared
Savings Program ACOs serving over 7.7 million beneficiaries.
Doctors, hospitals and health care providers establish ACOs in order to
work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their
patients, while helping to slow health care cost growth. Accountable
Care Coalition of Northeast Georgia will be one of 434 ACOs
participating in the Shared Savings Program as of January 1, 2016.
Beneficiaries seeing health care providers in ACOs always have the
freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. ACOs receive a
portion of the Medicare savings generated from lowering the growth in
health care costs as long as they also meet standards for high quality
“People across America are going to be better cared for when they go to
their health care providers, because these hospitals and providers have
made a commitment to innovation, a commitment to change how they do
business and care for patients,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell
said. “Medicare, and the health care system as a whole, is moving toward
paying providers based on the quality, rather than just the quantity of
care they give patients. The three new ACO initiatives that are being
launched mark an important step forward in this effort.”
Since ACOs first began participating in the program in early 2012,
thousands of health care providers have signed on to participate in the
program, working together to provide better care to Medicare’s seniors
and people with disabilities. The new and renewing ACOs will bring
approximately 15,000 additional physicians into the ACO program starting
January 1, 2016.
ACOs are delivering better care, and they continue to show promising
results on cost savings. In 2014, they had a combined total net program
savings of $411 million for 333 Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared
Savings Program) ACOs and 20 Pioneer ACOs. Based on 2014 quality and
financial performance results for Shared Savings Program ACOs who
started the program in 2012, 2013, and 2014, ACOs that reported in both
2013 and 2014 improved on 27 of the 33 quality measures, including
patients’ ratings of clinicians’ communication, beneficiaries’ rating of
their doctors, screening for tobacco use and cessation, screening for
high blood pressure, and Electronic Health Record use. Shared Savings
Program ACOs also outperformed group practices reporting quality on 18
out of 22 measures.
Ultimately, this announcement is about delivering better care, spending
dollars more wisely, and having healthier people and communities. ACOs
drive progress in the way care is provided by improving the coordination
and integration of health care, and improving the health of patients
with a priority placed on prevention and wellness. More information
about the Shared Savings Program is available at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/index.html?redirect=/sharedsavingsprogram/.
For a list of the new and renewing ACOs, visit the Shared Savings
Program News and Updates webpage: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/News-and-Updates.html.
Accountable Care Coalition of Northeast Georgia