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Piggy banks with calculator and stethoscope Simply looking at the current reported savings (or losses) of ACOs doesn’t tell the full story. (Photo: Shutterstock)

On the heels of a recent report arguing that accountable care organizations have been ineffective at bringing down costs for health care, the latest round of numbers from the CMS paints a different picture.

The ACO model works by incentivizing providers throughout the health care service chain to improve quality and reduce costs. In the Medicare system, the health care providers then earn a cut of the savings. According to the CMS, the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Shared Savings Program, which serves more than 12.1 million Medicare beneficiaries, saved the program nearly $1.9 billion in 2020, after paying out $2.3 billion in performance bonuses to participating ACOs.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is managing editor at BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she spent the past eight years writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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