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WASHINGTON — Interim financial results for 114 ACOs that began work in 2012 show that they generated $128 million in savings for the Medicare trust fund in the first year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in a blog posted Thursday. Additionally, initial results from an independent evaluation of 23 Pioneer ACOs, which are those that have more experience with coordinated care, show that they saved the Medicare program $147 million in their first year of operation.
"While still early in the program, with some ACOs making greater progress than others, the $275 million in savings — and the high quality of care that has accompanied it — are admirable results," CMS wrote. "ACOs are designed to achieve savings over several years, not always on an annual basis, but this is a very strong start. Moreover, through regular webinars, tools for sharing information and best practices, opportunities for ACOs to connect with one another and other activities, we’re providing ACOs the infrastructure and resources to learn from one another and to then diffuse what’s working and what’s not."
“Our experience has shown that ACOs can increase quality while lowering costs," said Kenneth Wilkins, president of Coastal Carolina Health Care. "As a result of the programs we’ve initiated, our patients have experienced better access to their primary care physician, higher quality measures and fewer trips to the hospital.”