CMS's 27 Shared Savings Program ACOs, which began on April 1, will serve an estimated 375,000 beneficiaries in 18 states. The group has collectively more than 10,000 physicians, 10 hospitals and 13 physician-driven organizations.
21 of the 27 ACOs are physician-run. The American Medical Association also noted that five of the approved groups will participate under an advance payment model, which provides up-front funding from Medicare to cover the costs of establishing the infrastructure needed to coordinate patient care. Only two of the 27 approved ACOs agreed to be held accountable for a share of any losses if Medicare costs for the patients receiving coordinated care exceed projections. The rest of the groups will not be exposed to possible penalties, but they will be eligible for a lower share of potential savings compared with the two ACOs exposed to risk.
Under the current model, which is different from the true capitation model, it will be interesting to see if savings can really be achieved. I'm personally skeptical. We'll just have to wait and see on this one.
For details about the 27 ACOs, check out this link