MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medicare reform initiatives have resulted in major savings, with more than $380 million in budget savings in the 1st 12 months, according to an interim financial report. Final results are expected later this year.
The Affordable Care Organizations in particular appear to be achieving savings beyond expectations, with 54 of the 114 ACOs exceeding benchmarks for in their 1st year, and 29 of those generating savings of of $254 million for themselves and for Medicare Trust Funds.
The programs are still under evaluation but early reports for the overall reform initiative are on target, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services statement.
"These innovative programs are showing encouraging initial results, while providing valuable lessons as we strive to improve our nation’s health care delivery system," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in prepared remarks. "Today’s findings demonstrate that organizations of various sizes and structures across the country are working with their physicians and engaging with patients to better coordinate and deliver high quality care while reducing expenditure growth."
Other programs that appear to be banking large include the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative and the Physician Group Practice Demonstration project.
Thus far 232 acute care hospitals, nursing homes, physician group practices, long-term care hospitals and home health organizations have joined Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement program, the largest test to date of a bundled pay model that groups costs for services patients commonly receive in a single "episode" of care.
The PGP program provides incentives for providing quality care that saves federal dollars, offering shared savings between Medicare programs and the physicians involved. The 5-year test program generated a total of $108 million in savings, which went to 7 out of 10 doctors involved, according to the federal agency.
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