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Surgery and Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations

Scott R. Hawken, BS1; Andrew M. Ryan, PhD2; David C. Miller, MD, MPH1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Dow Health Services Research Division, Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2772.
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This Viewpoint reports on the composition of physicians participating in Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organizations to determine the degree to which surgeons and other specialists are participating in MSSP programs.

Many believe that, by creating new incentives and accountability for providers (eg, physicians, clinics, and hospitals), accountable care organizations (ACOs) can help us achieve the triple aim of better population health, better patient experience, and lower costs.1 Although private payers are supporting ACO formation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ACO programs are the largest and most prominent. In fact, the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)—the largest of the federal ACO models—has already grown to include 404 participants covering more than 7.3 million Medicare beneficiaries.2 To date, initial evaluations of the MSSP model have identified moderate success in reducing costs, while meeting quality and patient-experience benchmarks.3,4 To achieve these goals, the earliest MSSP ACOs have focused on primary care, better care coordination, and reducing overutilization of heath care services.5

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Data on the Number of Specialists Participating in Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) per 1000 Medicare Beneficiaries

The 4 ACOs with the greatest number of specialists are, from greatest to least, HHC ACO Inc (New York, New York); Mount Sinai Care, LLC (New York, New York); Regents of the University of California (Oakland); and Indiana University Health ACO, Inc (Indianapolis). The 4 ACOs with the least number of specialists are, from least to greatest, Accountable Care Organization of the North Country, LLC (Littleton, New Hampshire); Nature Coast ACO, LLC (Beverly Hills, Florida); Owensboro ACO (Owensboro, Kentucky); and Rio Grande Valley Health Alliance, LLC (McAllen, Texas).

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