Pioneer ACOs Show Quality of Care Improvements

First year results are in - all 32 participants in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiative showed success in improving quality. However, not as much success was made in cost savings.

The participants in the Obama administration's most aggressive experiment with accountable care had better success improving quality than lowering costs, according to first-year results revealed in a published report.

All 32 of the accountable care organizations in the program improved patient care and patient satisfaction against benchmarks, according to results shared with the Wall Street Journal in advance of their public release. Only 13 achieved enough savings that they qualified to share some of that money. Two ended up spending more on the assigned beneficiaries than traditional Medicare fee-for-service and will owe the government $4 million.

The challenge of assuming financial risk for achieving the targets has prompted several of the participants to consider leaving the program and potentially entering more flexible ACO contracts in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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First year results are in - all 32 participants in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiative showed success in improving quality. However, not as much success was made in cost savings. Modern Healthcare reports: