CMS is touting savings in its Accountable Care Organization pilot programs. But it’s not answering questions, and the reason is apparently because the real story is not good. Kaiser Health News reports:
[According to David Muhlestein of the consulting firm Leavitt Partners] today’s news is actually “a net negative.” That’s because the savings, when averaged over the approximately 1.6 million lives covered by those ACOs, were only about $80 per person for the year, or a little less than 1 percent of spending.
“It’s not insignificant, but it’s not what you’d consider a huge success,” Muhlestein said. He adds that it’s unclear whether the savings covered the cost of the ACOs’ initial investment in information technology, nurse care coordinators, and any other upfront costs to become an ACO.