ACOs Saved $1 Billion, Reduced SNF Spending

With three years of data for accountable care organizations (ACOs), the shared savings program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has demonstrated the potential to cut down on care costs. And the savings are frequently coming from skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

In the first three years of the program, from 2013 to 2015, 428 ACOs served 9.7 million beneficiaries. Over this timeframe, ACOs achieved a net spending reduction of nearly $1 billion, with one-third of the ACOs reaching benchmarks to share in the savings.

ACOs also generally improved quality of care, outperforming fee-for-service providers on 81% of quality measures.

From 2010 to 2015, the average spending per beneficiary for SNF care declined $287 among the high-performing ACOs — those with substantial reductions in spending that were in the program for all three years. These ACOs also typically saw a higher number of beneficiaries and were made up primarily of physicians. Across national fee-for-service spending, SNF care spending on average rose by $35 per beneficiary, according to the report.

High-performing ACOs also decreased SNF admissions by 16% between 2013 and 2015, compared to a 7% decrease for other ACOs and a 4% decrease for the national average. Compared to other groups, the high-performing ACOs had the lowest SNF admission rates by 2015, according to the data.

See the full report here.

Written by Amy Baxter

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