CMS releases performance results for ACOs

Friday, September 19, 2014

WASHINGTON – Accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Pioneer ACO Model and Medicare Shared Savings Program generated more than $372 million in savings in their second and first years, respectively, CMS reported Sept. 16.

The Pioneer ACOs generated estimated total savings of more than $96 million and qualified for shared savings payments of $68 million. They saved the Medicare Trust Fund about $41 million.

Broken down, 11 Pioneer ACOs earned shared savings, three generated shared losses and three elected to defer reconciliation until after the third year.

Fifty-three Shared Savings Program ACOs held spending to $652 million below their targets and earned performance payments of more than $300 million. One ACO overspent its target by $10 million and owed shared losses of $4 million. They will save the Trust Fund about $345 million.

Additionally, 52 Shared Savings Program ACOs reduced costs compared to their benchmark, but they did not qualify for shared savings.

While CMS characterized the savings as “encouraging,” Kaiser Health News characterized them as “teensy sums in the context of a program that spends half a trillion dollars a year on care for the elderly and disabled.”