Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) March 29, 2016
To gain a better understanding of how financial incentives could improve coordinated care for Medicare patients, Abt Associates will design and conduct an evaluation of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Investment Model under a contract worth up to $4.6 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The findings will inform policy decisions around the evolving ACO models and builds on Abt’s work in evaluating these programs.
Accountable Care Organizations were enacted under the Affordable Care Act to respond to concerns about patient quality of care and rising health care costs and are composed of providers who voluntarily come together to provide coordinated care to the Medicare patients they serve. Medicare ACOs have the opportunity to share in savings if their patients’ costs remain below a benchmark spending level. The ACO Investment Model was created under the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation for existing or new Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. They are designed to encourage participation from ACOs by offering financial assistance to help defray start-up costs for new ACOs and encourage moving to higher levels of risk sharing for existing ACOs.
The evaluation will assess whether the funds provided to these organizations increase participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, sustain ACO participation in the program, and increase providers’ willingness to accept greater levels of risk. Abt researchers will also examine whether the payments increase the level or pace at which ACOs improve the quality of care, lower the cost of care, and improve the health of Medicare beneficiaries. The study involves the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data, mixed-methods analysis and ongoing reporting.
“Our rigorous evaluation expertise and our insights into service delivery and health care financing will help inform policies shaping health care reform that can ultimately lead to better, coordinated care for Medicare patients at a lower cost,” said Dr. Christopher Spera, Abt Associates’ division vice president for U.S. Health.
The Abt Associates evaluation team will be led by Dr. Betty Fout. Partners include L&M Policy Research and Insight Policy Research. Separately, Abt is assisting L&M Policy Research in evaluating the effectiveness of Pioneer and Advance Payment ACOs in reducing spending and assessing early markers of ACO success.
For a complete list of Abt’s health policy research, please visit: http://abtassociates.com/AbtAssociates/files/7c/7c188860-bfbf-4ab2-a471-e70dfc18b98a.pdf
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and implementing programs in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and was named one of the 40 international development innovators. The company has offices in the U.S., Australia and the U.K., and program offices in more than 40 countries. http://www.abtassoc.com