An Obamacare program designed to alter America's health care delivery system has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in health care expenditures, the Obama administration said Thursday.
Early data from the first year of Accountable Care Organizations indicates upward of $380 million in savings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports.
The Affordable Care Act created and funded ACOs in an attempt to improve quality of care and reduce costs, and 54 of 114 ACOs had lower year-one expenditures than expected, CMS says. ACOs provide coordinated care for Medicare beneficiaries, bringing together primary-care physicians, specialists, and hospitals to work together to ensure treatment is consistent and to prevent duplication of services.
"Our strategies of using patient outreach and education and regular follow up for targeted chronic disease programs are allowing us to anticipate patient needs before their health problems become worse," Dr. Barbara Walters said in a press release about the findings. Walters is the executive medical director for accountable care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, a New Hampshire-based medical center.
The Health and Human Services Department, which houses CMS, said it would release final numbers from the program's first year in the coming months.