-But the study leaves some fundamental questions unanswered
WASHINGTON — Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have saved Medicare money, a report issued Tuesday by an ACO trade organization found. “We estimate that ACOs in the MSSP [Medicare Shared Savings Plan] generated savings of $1.84 billion during performance years 2013-2015, or nearly twice the $954 million in savings estimated by the CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] benchmarking methodology,” wrote the report authors. “Further, we found that the MSSP generated net savings of $541.7 million from 2013-2015 after accounting for shared savings bonuses earned by ACOs.” The report was commissioned by the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS), and was produced by Dobson|DaVanzo & Associates, a consulting firm. As its name implies, the shared savings program allows plans that save Medicare money to share in some of the savings, while some of the plans that lose money — depending on which “track” of the program they’re in — may have to pay back Medicare for their losses.