USA Today: New care organizations save $380 million in first year

Groups were created as part of the health care law to save money in Medicare.

WASHINGTON — The section of the Affordable Care Act aimed at changing the treatment of Medicare beneficiaries saved the program more than $380 million in its first year of operation, a top Medicare official said Thursday.

Accountable Care Organizations were created as part of the 2010 health care law and started in a series of pilot programs around the country. Instead of paying health care providers for each service they perform, ACOs focus on keeping patients out of the hospital.

The organizations are reporting even lower costs than Medicare as a whole, which has had record low spending increases in recent years, said Jonathan Blum, the principal deputy administrator for the Center for Medicare Services. “We are even more pleased that the quality scores are improving.” 

Continue Reading here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/30/half-of-medicare-acos-achieve-savings/5054433/

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