Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are part of the foundation of the healthcare industry’s transition to value-based care and purchasing.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ACOs have realized clinical and financial improvements. Organizations in the Medicare’s largest ACO program average a quality performance score north of 90 percent, and CMS estimates that the program saved about $954 million from 2013 through 2015.
However, the federal government says ACOs could do more to reduce costs and improve care quality. And the organizations can achieve the goals through downside financial risk.
ACO programs with higher financial risk levels compared to the MSSP are generating greater savings. For example, Next Generation ACOs, which assume up to 100 percent downside financial risk, produced nearly $62 million in net savings to Medicare in just one performance period.