Next Gen ACOs aren't lowering hospital spending: 5 things to know

In its first two years, the Next Generation ACO model was not linked with reduced net Medicare spending, and had no effect on use or spending for hospitalizations, according to a new evaluation of the government program.

Five things to know:

1. In its second evaluation report of the Next Generation ACO model, researchers from the University of Chicago focused on the full sample of 46 Next Gen ACOs that participated in the model during its first and second program years, 2016-17. Nearly 2 million beneficiaries were included in the analysis.

2. Not including shared savings payouts, the model resulted in a $123.2 million reduction in gross Medicare spending in the two program years, much of which was recorded in the 2017 program year.

3. However, the shared savings in the first two years exceeded the model's estimated reduction in gross Medicare spending, resulting in a net spending increase for the model of $93 million.

4. The model was not linked to a reduction in acute care hospital facility spending or acute care stays. For the most part, no significant improvements in quality measures were recorded.

5. However, some changes were identified. The Next Gen ACO model was likely associated with gross reductions in post-acute care spending for inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals, according to the report. The model also increased annual wellness visits among beneficiaries.

To view the full evaluation, click here.

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