Accountable care organizations (ACOs) aim to improve healthcare quality for patients while reducing costs. Even as healthcare providers have operated in an unstable industry for the past few years, ACO programs have continued to achieve shared savings and promote the shift to value-based care.
Programs like the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and Direct Contracting—soon to be ACO REACH—incentivize providers to bear more financial risk in exchange for shared savings.
In particular, MSSP has been a champion of value-based care, according to Dr. Brian Steele, chief medical officer of Collaborative Health Systems (CHS).
“It’s still driving billions of dollars of savings—$1.6 billion in 2021 alone and hundreds of ACOs participating. It’s got risk and non-risk-based contracts, and by far, it’s done more for value-based care than any other program,” Steele told RevCycleIntelligence in a recent interview.
The recently released MSSP performance results highlighted the continued success of the program. According to CMS, 58 percent of ACOs earned payments for their quality and cost performance, saving $1.6 billion in 2021. Before accounting for shared savings payments, Medicare saved a total of $3.6 billion.