Many Michigan ACOs saving millions under Medicare's cost-saving plan

Many of the 15 accountable care organizations in Michigan are saving millions of dollars for the Medicare program along with passing along significant financial rewards to hundreds of participating physicians, according to several local ACO executives. 

Under Medicare's ACO cost containment program — begun as three-year pilot projects outlined in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 — groups of hospitals, physicians and other providers band together to coordinate care for seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare. 

If they generate sufficient savings and hit predetermined quality targets in their second contract year, the ACOs split the savings with Medicare. 

In Southeast Michigan, for example, Dearborn-based Oakwood ACO LLC saved Medicare $17 million and kept $8.4 million during its first 18-month period from July 2012 to December 2013. United Outstanding Physicians' Southeast Michigan Accountable Care (SEMAC), also based in Dearborn, saved $24.6 million and kept $12.1 million during the same period.

Detroit Medical Center's Michigan Pioneer ACO, saved $14 million and kept $6 million. Pioneer is on track to generate similar savings in 2014, officials said.

One of metro Detroit's newest ACOs, The Accountable Care Organization Ltd. (TACO), based in Farmington Hills, also is saving Medicare money, but officials for the ACO said it is too early to predict financial numbers for 2014, the physician-led organization's first year.

Other ACOs operating in Michigan include the Genesys Physician Hospital Organization,Accountable Healthcare Alliance PC, St. John Providence Partners in Care and Physician Organization of Michigan ACO.

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