CMS continues to tout troubled ACO programs

With its announcement yesterday, “ACOs Moving Ahead,” of 89 new members of the MSSP CMS neglected to mention the recent figures from NAACOS. CMS continues its propaganda designed to hide the lack of success of its three Accountable Care Programs. The MSSP program was designed to move into a two-sided risk acceptance format where the providers would share in both losses and savings. In November the National Association of ACO’s published the results of their tracking survey which revealed that 2/3 of the MSSP ACO’s were highly unlikely (54%) to sign a new two-sided contract, or highly unlikely to finish a contract (8%) or somewhat unlikely (4%) with 26% undecided.

Even though most of the groups entering the program already had sophisticated EHR tracking and reporting systems the time lost to bureaucracy and the ongoing maintenance costs of $1.5-2 million a year were discouraging. Add to that the fact that expected return of shared savings to the providers was reduced by their failure to meet quality standards (most of which are the old, discredited process metrics).

CMS’ previous inflated press release contained the same kind of obfuscation of the Pioneer ACO program. See…

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