27 ACOs brought into CMS Shared Savings Program

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Under the new Medicare Shared Savings Program, 27 accountable care organizations (ACOs) have entered into agreements with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), taking responsibility for the quality of care furnished to people with Medicare in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through improved care.

The first 27 Shared Savings Program ACOs will serve an estimated 375,000 beneficiaries in 18 states. This brings the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives on April 1 to 65, including the 32 Pioneer Model ACOs that were announced last December, and six Physician Group Practice Transition Demonstration organizations that started in January 2011, CMS stated. “In all, as of April 1, more than 1.1 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives.”

The selected ACOs include more than 10,000 physicians, 10 hospitals and 13 smaller physician-driven organizations in both urban and rural areas. Their models for coordinating care and improving quality vary in response to the needs of the beneficiaries in the areas they are serving. CMS is reviewing more than 150 applications from ACOs seeking to enter the program in July.

For 2012, CMS has established 33 quality measures relating to care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and the patient and caregiver experience of care to ensure that savings are achieved through improving and providing care. 

CMS additionally announced that five ACOs are participating in the Advance Payment ACO Model beginning April 1. This model will provide advance payment of expected shared savings to rural and physician-based ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program that would benefit from additional start-up resources. 

CMS is reviewing more than 50 applications for Advance Payments that start in July.