With Medicare’s main trust fund projected to run out in just seven years, the Trump Administration is working hard to lower health care costs and increase quality to protect the Medicare program for all Americans who depend on it. The Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program), established by Congress, promotes accountability for a patient population, fosters coordination of care, encourages investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes for high quality and efficient health care service delivery, and promotes higher value care. The Shared Savings Program is a voluntary program that encourages groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to come together as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) to lower growth in expenditures and improve quality.
An ACO agrees to be held accountable for the quality, cost, and experience of care of an assigned Medicare beneficiary population. ACOs that successfully meet quality and savings requirements share a percentage of the achieved savings with Medicare. ACOs can reduce costs while delivering high-quality, coordinated care, and they are an important tool to help increase the sustainability of the Medicare program.