Across the country, health care is going through a transformation both in how care is delivered and how it is paid for. These alternative payment models, such as Medicare’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), require health care delivery organizations to share in the financial risk associated with their patients’ medical spending and encourage health care providers to think of alternative ways to get patients the care that they need. Although ACOs appear to lower medical spending, there is little information on how these savings are actually achieved. Today, researchers at Partners HealthCare published a study showing that Partners Pioneer ACO not only reduces spending growth, but does this by reducing avoidable hospitalizations for patients with elevated but modifiable risks. The study appears in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs.
Link to full Partners release for study co-authored by MGH physician John Hsu, MD.