More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in health law savings programs


The provisions replacing Medicare's traditional system of paying per test or procedure with rewards for quality of care among the few aspects of president Obama's health law aimed at lowering healthcare costs. The Accountable Care Organizations got off to a rough start last year when hospitals balked at initial regulations seen as too rigid, but the program has since begun to take off.

The idea took a hit earlier this year, however, when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report finding that six similar programs have mostly failed to lower costs over the past 20 years.