89 ACOs Open for Business

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 10, 2012

As of July 1, more than 2.4 million Medicare beneficiaries are receiving care from shared savings ACOs, and almost half of the ACOs are smaller physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries, Blum says.

"What is significant is the degree of provider physician interest," Blum explains. "Contrary to some fears that were expressed last year, we have a very strong program that exceeds our goals for the first year. We have over 2.4 million beneficiaries being served by these ACOs and we really see this thing led by the physician community to improve patient care."

Blum says the Medicare Shared Savings Program, part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, by some projections could save the Medicare trust fund up to $940 million over four years. However, he believes it’s too early to tell if the ACOs are already on their way toward the stated goals of saving money and improving care quality.

"Obviously this is going to be a key factor that we track very carefully," Blum says. "We have a very strong interest to ensure that beneficiaries get better services than they do today. We will make this data transparent to the public but it is too early to tell given that the program is still in its early stages."

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2 comments on "89 ACOs Open for Business"

Al Neuman MD (7/13/2012 at 5:58 PM)
Anyone who has read the "HealthLeaders" site realizes by now that for whatever reason, they seem totally in the tank for Obama and his policies. Truth of the matter is what HealthLeaders ISN'T saying in this piece[INVALID]that the vast majority of hospitals and physician groups AREN'T taking the dubious bait of Obamacare. Just look @ the numbers[INVALID]only 150 from the whole country applied, out of many thousands of potential applicants! It's obvious as anyone seriously involved in healthcare already knows, that the professional community doesn't like this ridiculous elephant of a healthcare "law" with all its burdensome bureaucracy and huge administrative costs and certainly doesn't trust the Obama administration at all based on their duplicity and dishonesty about other health-related topics incl. Medicare physician reimbursements. Reality is that most responsible folks in healthcare are rooting for Congress to actually repeal this turkey[INVALID]nobody believes it's either workable or affordable and will be a sure job killer.d

J. Kuriyan (7/10/2012 at 9:31 AM)
While it is wonderful that providers are stepping up to the plate and becoming "accountable" my fear is that they are buying a "pig in a poke" when they envision "shared savings". I am absolutely amazed thatmany responsible provider organizations are entering into a contract where the "baseline" for calculating savings has not been defined by CMS. What if the CMS actuaries come up with an unrealistic standard for measuring savings? Isn't it prudent practice to know what these parameters are before providers enter into contracts that entail penalty clauses for non-preformance? Wonders never cease!




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