Medicare ACOs Continue to Improve Quality of Care, Generate Shared Savings

Contact:Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs for Meridian Health

Medicare ACOs Continue to Improve Quality of Care Generate Shared Savings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued 2014 quality and financial performance results showing that more Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue to generate financial savings while improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries by fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and health care providers.

When an ACO demonstrates that it has achieved high-quality care and effectively reducing spending of health care dollars above certain thresholds, it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. In 2014, 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in savings, which includes all ACOs savings and losses. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time.

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare.

In addition to those ACOs that generated savings, some ACOs had assigned beneficiary expenditures that were either greater than or less than their updated benchmark, but that fell within their minimum savings rate corridor. This means that they did not earn a performance payment.

"We are proud to report that Meridian Accountable Care Organization (ACO) had another successful year in meeting key benchmarks," says Patrick Young, executive vice president of Meridian Health Solutions. "In our second year of participating in the Medicare Shared Savings program, we achieved a 2014 Quality Score of 86.45%. Meridian ACO once again achieved overall savings; however, we did not meet the threshold set by Medicare to share in those savings. In year three, our goal remains to improve the quality of care delivered and provide value to our partners."

For more detailed quality and financial results, click here.

Additional Resources
Visit the Medicare Shared Savings Program News and Updates webpage to access the HHS press release and fact sheet, the link to the Performance Year 2014 results file, and to learn more about the program.

About Meridian Health
A leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers. In April, Meridian Health and Raritan Bay Medical Center signed a definitive agreement to merge. In May, Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network also signed a definitive agreement to merge. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" for six consecutive years, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium alongside six of the nation’s leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. With more than 100 convenient locations, over 1,800 beds, nearly 13,000 team members, and affiliations with more than 2,000 of the area’s finest physicians, Meridian Health is a leading health care provider in New Jersey, providing quality health services, facilities, and programs. For more information, please visit