Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Lebanon, N.H., found that significant reductions in cancer treatment may be found in accountable care organizations (ACOs), as a result in reductions in hospitalizations. The analysis is published in the December issue of the journal Healthcare. The analysis provides evidence on how the shared-savings ACO model may affect the cost and experience of care for cancer patients.
The researchers looked at the Physician Group Practice Demonstration, which ran from 2005 to 2010 in 10 physicians groups, for evidence on the likely effectiveness of ACOs for Medicare beneficiaries. They report that a significant reduction could be found in Medicare spending of $721 annually per patient, with no adverse consequence for survival. The savings were associated with fewer admissions for inpatient care among beneficiaries with prevalent cancer due to better management of acute care, especially among beneficiaries eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. There were no reductions in cancer-specific treatments.