Modern Healthcare

July 9, 2012

By Melanie Evans and Jessica Zigmond

Medicare’s accountable-care experiment, which seeks to revamp how hospitals and doctors get paid, more than doubled in size with 89 newly named participants. 

The CMS added the latest accountable care organizations (PDF) to 27 ACOs in its shared-savings program, which offers medical groups, hospitals and federally qualified health centers financial incentives for quality improvement and cost control. An additional 38 organizations operate under other Medicare accountable care contracts. 

“The Medicare ACO program opened for business in January, and already, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in these important initiatives,” acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement (PDF).

…Five of the newly named ACOs selected the riskier of two payment options under the Medicare shared-savings program, Blum said. Organizations that agreed to accept potential financial risk could also see greater financial bonuses. The remaining 84 organizations opted for the payment option with no risk but less potential gain. 

…The initiatives are projected to save the program $940 million over four years, according to the CMS. 

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