« Articles

Orchestrating ACO Success: How Top Performers in the MSSP Achieve Shared Savings

by John M. Harris, Director, Idette Elizondo, Manager, & Amanda Brown, Associate
HFM Magazine
March 1, 2016

Open PDF file >

Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are disrupting healthcare, creating new power centers and transforming care delivery. We looked at the results of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs to determine whether physician-sponsored ACOs or hospital-sponsored ACOs have performed better, and what all ACOs can do to succeed.

In 2014, more than half of MSSP ACOs that had been in operation for at least a year reduced costs compared to their benchmark, but only 28% generated savings greater than their minimum savings rate, the threshold that makes ACOs eligible to receive a share of those savings. We take a closer look at the results and discuss strategic goals of ACOs.

The article then discusses key strategies for success based on the input of successful ACO leaders. Many ACO leaders see their ACO programs as offering a vast opportunity for improvement in the quality and cost of care, allowing them to achieve changes that improve care in ways that have never been possible before. These strategies can help more ACOs succeed, whether physician-sponsored or hospital-sponsored. They can also help hospitals and health systems understand how to work effectively with physician-sponsored ACOs.

Read the full article.

*Special Feature!*

Listen to John Harris, director, further discuss the content of this article in HFMA’s inaugural podcast. Harris shares his perspectives on the future of accountable care organizations, and he suggests steps that hospitals and health systems, and their finance leaders in particular, should be taking today to prepare for that future. Listen to the podcast here!