Amid mixed news for Medicare ACOs, experts fear model is ‘unsustainable’
Experts disagree on the effectiveness of Medicare’s accountable care organizations, especially amid yet another high-profile departure from the Pioneer ACO program–this time from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System.
The Pioneer and Shared Savings Programs generated more than $411 million in savings in 2014, but the success of the model means more than financial value, Richard Barasch, chairman and CEO of Universal American Corp., told Kaiser Health News.
“For these things to work, it has to be not just a value-based conversation but it also has to be about how the practice is actually managed, said Barasch, whose organization includes Collaborative Health System, which runs 25 Medicare Shared Savings ACOs. For example, Medicare ACOs provide incentives to encourage annual wellness visits for Medicare beneficiaries, but many doctors are unaccustomed to treating patients as customers to whom they should market their services.
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