Physician-led ACOs performed better than hospital-led ACOs in 2018, analysis finds

Low-revenue, physician-led accountable care organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program reduced Medicare spending by $739 million in 2018, significantly outperforming high-revenue, hospital-led ACOs, according to a new analysis from consulting firm Avalere.

The analysis, based on data from CMS, examined 548 ACOs in the MSSP alternative payment model.

Avalere found that on average, 235 low-revenue, physician-led ACOs generated $180.41 in net savings to Medicare per beneficiary in 2018, nearly seven times the Medicare savings per beneficiary generated by 313 high-revenue, hospital-led ACOs ($26.76).

The analysis also found that ACOs continue to generate more net savings for Medicare the longer they participate in the MSSP.

"All ACOs strive to reduce spending while improving quality in the new value-based world," John Feore, associate principal at Avalere, concluded. "However, the financial incentives to reduce hospital spending are stronger for ACOs that don't receive a substantial amount of revenue from hospital admissions."


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