Supply of Medical Services

How are ACOs trying to lower cost?

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) aim to use coordinated care to increase quality and lower cost. While everyone likes the sound of integrated care, it may be less clear how ACOs are aiming to achieve these goals. In a recent Health Affairs blog post, Micklos and co-authors review one study found that:

…Next Gen ACO participants invested in four areas: data analytic capacity to manage prospectively aligned populations; beneficiary engagement on care management and annual wellness visits; physician engagement using financial and non-financial incentives; and collaboration with SNFs for better delivery of postacute care. The report also found statistically significant changes in spending largely driven by lower spending on postacute care and professional services. While there were no statistically significant impacts on quality as measured in preventable hospitalizations and readmissions, there was a 16 percent increase in the use of annual wellness visits compared to the prior evaluation report.

The full Next Generation ACO evaluation report was released in September 2020 and can be found here. The location of the Next Gen ACOs are shown in the map below and on the CMMI website.

Next Generation ACO locations.

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