Medicare & Medicaid News for Senior Citizens

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare ACOs continue to improve quality of care and savings

Medicare beneficiaries served by ACOs continues to increase; report on 2014

Doctor smiles at elderly female patient in hospitalSept. 2, 2015 - Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while generating financial savings, says the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The evidence is from the 2014 quality and financial performance results.

As the number of Medicare beneficiaries served by ACOs continues to grow, these results suggest that ACOs are delivering higher quality care to more and more Medicare beneficiaries each year. 

“These results show that accountable care organizations as a group are on the path towards transforming how care is provided," said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. “Many of these ACOs are demonstrating that they can deliver a higher level of coordinated care that leads to healthier people and smarter spending.”

 

ACOs are one way that the administration is working to provide Medicare beneficiaries with high-quality, person-centered care. Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who voluntarily come together to provide coordinated care, with the goal of giving Medicare beneficiaries – especially the chronically ill – the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. 

The results shared today demonstrate significant improvements in the quality of care ACOs are offering to Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs are judged on their performance on an array of meaningful metrics that assess the care they provide – including how highly patients rated their doctor, how well clinicians communicated, whether they screened for high blood pressure and tobacco use and cessation, and their use of Electronic Health Records. 

In the third performance year, Pioneer ACOs showed improvements in 28 of 33 quality measures and experienced average improvements of 3.6% across all quality measures. Shared Savings Program ACOs that reported quality measures in 2013 and 2014 improved on 27 of 33 quality measures. 

When an ACO demonstrates that it has achieved high-quality care and effectively reducing spending of health care dollars above specified thresholds, it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. In 2014, 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in savings, which includes all ACOs savings and losses.

Today’s results show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time. Of the 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs, 119 are in their first performance year in Track 1, which involves standing up the program without the financial risk associated with later tracks. Please see accompanying fact sheet for more details about percentages of ACOs that share in savings over time.

The number of beneficiaries served by ACOs is likely to continue to grow.  Since the advent of the programs, the number of Medicare beneficiaries served by ACOs has consistently grown from year to year, and early indications suggest the number may grow again next year. 

The Shared Savings Program continues to receive strong interest from both new applicants seeking to join the program as well as from existing ACOs seeking to continue in the program for a second agreement period starting in 2016. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 420 Medicare ACOs have been established, serving more than 7.8 million Americans with Original Medicare as of January 1, 2015.  

The Affordable Care Act takes important steps toward a more accessible, affordable, and higher-quality health care system. Today’s announcement is part of a broader effort to seize on this historic moment and transform our health care system into one that works better for the American people. We have a vision of a system that delivers better care, spends our dollars in a smarter way, and puts patients in the center of their care to keep them healthy.

For more detailed quality and financial results, click here.

 Other Recent News from Medicare

Medicare adds more facilities in project to improve care, reduce costs

Over 2,100 participants in performance period of Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative

Sept. 2, 2015 - CMS says that over 2,100 acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, physician group practices, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and home health agencies transitioned from a preparatory period to a risk-bearing implementation period in which they assumed financial risk for episodes of care. More at CMS…

CMS announces timeline for Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding

Bidder Education Program Begins

Sept. 2, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the bidding timeline for the Round 1 2017 competition of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program, as required by law. CMS also has launched a comprehensive bidder education program, designed so that DMEPOS suppliers interested in bidding receive the information and assistance they need to submit complete and competitive bids in a timely manner.   

The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program changes the amount Medicare pays for certain equipment like walkers and wheelchairs using market-based prices, while maintaining beneficiary access to items and services and quality of care. More at CMS…

 


Related Medicare & Medicaid News - Senior Journal Archives

Medicare drug program premiums expected to stay about the same in 2016

Rates threatened by high cost of specialty drugs; growth in per-enrollee spending continues to be historically low - Aug. 19, 2015

More at Medicare & Medicaid Section Page

Follow on  and 

 

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.

 Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...

Janicek Law Firm, PC

Free Consultation

(Call toll free)

1-877-795-3425 or Email

Vehicles Involved

VW Jetta (2009–2015)

VW Jetta SportWagen (2009–2014)

VW Golf (2010-2015)

VW Golf SportWagen (2015)

VW Beetle (2012–2015)

VW Passat (2012-2015)

Audi A3 (2010-2015)

VW Touareg (2009–2016)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)

 

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens


Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com