HHS touts savings from ObamaCare program

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

After the Pioneer ACOs received their share of the savings, the savings to the Medicare trust fund were $33 million last year.

There are 32 Pioneer ACOs, which provide care to roughly 670,000 seniors. Two Pioneer ACOs left the program during the first year, and another seven organizations decided to leave the Pioneer model and pursue a different type of ACO.

“These results show that successful Pioneer ACOs have reduced costs for Medicare and improved the quality of care for their patients,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement. “The Affordable Care Act has given us a wide range of tools to realign payment incentives in Medicare and Medicaid, and these efforts are already paying off.”

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA), which represents integrated healthcare systems, said perfecting the ACO model will take time. The majority of the association's members participates in the ACO program.

"Programs like the ACO initiatives will take many years to mature," AMGA President Don Fisher said in a statement. "Our members are laying the foundation for future programs and innovative payment arrangements."