Friday, January 31, 2014

Obamacare: Saving Billions On Health Care

Why three letters -- ACO -- could help the U.S. save billions on health care. "Nearly half of the 114 hospitals and doctor groups that began Accountable Care Organizations under the health law in 2012 managed to slow Medicare spending in their first year, but only 29 of them saved enough money to qualify for bonus payments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Thursday...The 29 ACOs that met that goal during the first 12 months divided $126 million in savings while generating an additional $128 million in net savings for the Medicare Trust Fund...[Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization] CEO Kelly Conroy said the ACO, which includes 200 primary-care physicians and specialists, and about 30,000 Medicare patients, "did a lot of simple things to save money." One was encouraging more patients to get annual checkups. When the ACO began, only 13% of its patients made such visits. Now, about 45% do, compared with a national average of 10%." Melinda Beck in The Wall Street Journal.

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