5 Recent ACO Findings

The relative youth of accountable care organizations make the model ripe for further study and analysis. Are there more Medicare or commercial ACOs? Do physicians regard the model differently based on their employment status? How much savings can ACOs generate for specific conditions?

To help answer these questions and more, here are five findings from studies or surveys on ACOs that were covered by Becker's Hospital Review within the past two months, beginning with the most recent.

1. Medicare ACOs now outnumber non-Medicare or commercial contracts, according to a report from Leavitt Partners. Of 488 total ACOs nationwide, 253 have contracts with CMS, meaning Medicare ACOs account for 52 percent of total ACOs.

2. Independent physicians are less likely than their employed peers to believe accountable care will benefit their practice, according to a survey from athenahealth. Compared with employed physicians, independent physicians are 16 percent less likely to believe accountable care will improve the quality of care; 61 percent more likely to think shifting to accountable care will make it more difficult to get paid; and 43 percent more likely to believe ACOs will have a negative impact on profitability.

3. More physicians became familiar with ACOs within the last year, according to an athenahealth survey. This year, 65 percent of surveyed physicians either currently participate in an ACO or say they are somewhat or very familiar with the model. Just 57 percent reported similar familiarity with ACOs last year.

4. ACOs can generate medical and drug cost savings of at least 12 percent for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, according to a Decision Resources report.

5. Sixty-seven percent of physicians involved in an ACO last year said they did not see personal financial benefits from their participation, according to a survey from Jackson Healthcare. Nineteen percent of physicians said they were "not sure" about their personal financial benefit from ACOs, whereas 14 percent said they did see personal financial returns.

More Articles on ACOs:

2 Playbooks for ACOs to Improve Cost Savings
Statewide Accountable Care Organization Could be in the Cards for Delaware
Building a Medicare ACO: Mercy Health Select's Story

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