Physician-led ACOs saved Medicare $256.4 million in 2015, but hospital-led ACOs actually cost the program money that same year, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The study, led by researchers from the Department of Health Care Policy at Boston-based Harvard Medical School, analyzed Medicare claims from 2009 through 2015. They compared changes in Medicare spending for patients in physician-led versus hospital-led ACOs before and after the organizations entered the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
Researchers found in physician-group ACOs, MSSP participation was linked with reducing Medicare spending. The longer physician-led ACOs participated in the program, the more significant the savings. By 2015, physician-led ACOs that entered the program in 2012 saw $474 in savings per Medicare beneficiary, compared to $342 for those entering in 2013 and $156 for those entering in 2014.