HHS touts savings from ObamaCare program

The Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) created under ObamaCare have produced more than $380 million in healthcare savings to date, Health and Human Services (HHS) said Thursday.

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“These innovative programs are showing encouraging initial results, while providing valuable lessons as we strive to improve our nation’s health care delivery system,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “Today’s findings demonstrate that organizations of various sizes and structures across the country are working with their physicians and engaging with patients to better coordinate and deliver high quality care while reducing expenditure growth.”

The ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and providers that coordinate their healthcare services for Medicare patients. The program was designed to streamline healthcare delivery and reduce healthcare spending among seniors.

Medicare shares some of its savings with ACOs, so providers will have an incentive to participate in a program designed to reduce federal spending.

There are 114 ACOs, and HHS said about half had lower expenditures than expected. HHS said it expects even greater savings in the future.

“Our experience has shown that ACOs can increase quality while lowering costs. 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,” Dr. Kenneth W. Wilkins, president of Coastal Carolina Health Care, said in the release. “We look forward to making continued progress and seeing future results, and we are grateful to CMS whose advance funding made these initiatives possible.”