AJMC study shows ACOs that allocate majority of shared savings to primary care providers are more likely to generate savings
When it came time to pay bonuses to Medicare’s Pioneer ACOs and Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs based on 2014 results, a substantial proportion of the payments went to primary care physicians compared to hospitals and specialist physicians. Significantly, only a minority of these ACOs qualified for bonus payments.
Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers watching the growth of ACOs will find it notable that primary care doctors received 46% of the shared-savings bonuses in the program’s first two years. Hospitals received 27% of the incentives while 20% went to specialists, according to a Modern Healthcare report.
High Expectations That ACOs Can Help Control Healthcare Costs
Twenty Pioneer ACOs and 333 Medicare’s Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs combined to produce more than $411 million in total savings in 2014, although only 29% of the organizations generated enough savings to earn a bonus, a CMS Fact Sheet indicated.
“These results show that accountable care organizations as a group are on the path towards transforming how care is provided,” stated CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in a statement. “Many of these ACOs are demonstrating that they can deliver a higher level of coordinated care that leads to healthier people and smarter spending.” (more…)
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups can expect to see more growth in the number of patients served by ACOs and that will require labs to have a new pricing strategy
Will ACOs be the next big thing in American healthcare? Many people are betting that will be true as the number of ACOs continues to increase. Some reports indicate that as many as 750 Medicare and private ACOs were in operation as of early 2015, compared to about 250 ACOs in 2013.
Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers watching the ACO trend will find it significant that Medicare ACOs now serve about 5.6 million beneficiaries. According to a report issued by Oliver Wyman, that is about 11% of all Medicare beneficiaries. Providers in these ACOs are paid under a different arrangement than the long-established Part B fee-for-service price schedule.
The big question mark about ACOs is whether they can deliver significant cost savings while improving patient outcomes. This summer, officials at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported on the savings generated by the agency’s pilot ACO programs. The two main accountable care organization programs are the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the Pioneer ACO Program. (more…)
Provider case studies demonstrate that involved teamwork and reengineering of frontline healthcare workers’ jobs leads to better clinical outcomes and improved patient satisfaction
Team-based care is coming to the American healthcare system. Among other things, this will create the need for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups to better align how they report medical laboratory test results so that all appropriate members of a patient’s care team have timely and appropriate access to relevant lab test data.
One recent study of team-based care determined that expanding frontline workers’ roles is an effective response to healthcare industry pressures. The study was performed by the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institute. (more…)