Small savings reported from new healthcare models

New healthcare delivery models established under ObamaCare produced $372 million in savings for the Medicare program, federal health officials said Tuesday.

The healthcare law's accountable care organizations (ACOs) seek to save money and enhance patient care through better coordination among healthcare providers.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that ACOs in two separate initiatives improved this year on benchmarks for quality and patient satisfaction while saving Medicare money.

"We all have a stake in improving the quality of care we receive while spending our dollars more wisely," said HHS Secretary Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellPrice was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill ObamaCare enrollment hits 11.5M for 2017 MORE in a statement.

"It’s good for businesses, for our middle class, and for our country's global competitiveness."

The praise comes amid questions about the long-term viability and effectiveness of ACOs, which launched in 2012.

Critics have called the program fatally flawed, and as of earlier this month, Medicare's "Pioneer" initiative had dropped from 32 to 22 participants.

ACOs that stopped participating cited concerns about financial stability given the requirement to pay the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services if their price of care goes up.

Supporters say testing new models is crucial to moving Medicare away from fee-for-service payments.