On August 25, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020 performance results for accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) – the agency’s cornerstone accountable care initiative. ACOs and value-based care advocates have been anxiously awaiting this latest MSSP data, given the significance of performance year (PY) 2020 for participating provider organizations still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. MSSP performance information may also be an important bellwether for the future of CMS’ flagship ACO program, as MSSP proponents continue to defend the utility of the model despite slowing adoption since the Pathways to Success overhaul in 2019.
While 2020 represented a unique and challenging year for the health care system, the MSSP celebrated its fourth consecutive year of net savings to the Medicare Trust Fund. In fact, 2020 was the most successful MSSP performance year in the program’s history, with 513 ACOs generating over $4B in gross savings.