KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

27 Health Systems Selected For Shared Savings ACO Program

The Obama administration estimates that, with the addition of these health systems to the health law  program, 375,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 18 states will get their health care through accountable care organizations.  

Kaiser Health News: ACOs Multiply As Medicare Announces 27 New Ones
Despite uncertainty over how the Supreme Court will rule on the health law, a key provision intended to help transform the delivery of care is moving ahead. The Obama administration announced Tuesday that 27 health systems have been selected to participate in Medicare's Shared Savings Program, which offers financial incentives for physicians, hospitals and other health care providers to team up in "accountable care organizations" (Gold and Torres, 4/10). 

The Hill: More Than 1 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Enrolled In Health Law Savings Program
More than one million Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in programs of the healthcare reform law that aim to reward doctors and hospitals for working together to improve the coordination and quality of care while saving money, the Obama administration announced Tuesday. Twenty-seven so-called "Accountable Care Organizations" have signed contracts with the Medicare agency to serve 375,000 beneficiaries in 18 states, the Medicare agency announced. The organizations are located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin (Pecquet, 4/10).

Modern Healthcare: CMS Picks 27 ACO Participants For Shared-Savings Program
The CMS designated 27 healthcare entities in 18 states as the first Medicare Shared Savings Program accountable care organizations, which are one of the healthcare law's most anticipated payment and delivery reforms. The entities aim to create financial incentives for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to better coordinate care and improve the health of Medicare beneficiaries while lowering their costs (Daly, 4/10).

Politico Pro: Early ACO Numbers Leave Future Uncertain
Delivery system reform experts say it is still too soon to tell whether the accountable care organization program will be embraced by providers even after Tuesday's announcement that 27 health systems will enroll in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. When CMS unveiled the final rule in October, it projected that anywhere from 50 to 270 health systems would enroll in the Medicare Shared Savings Program during the first four years of the contract period. ... They're still far short of this ball park, and that could draw a lot of speculation because health care analysts don't have a lot of other ways to tell how successful the ACO program will be (Feder and Smith, 4/11).

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