KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

HHS Watchdog Says Medicare Saved $1B Through Program That Coordinates Care

Accountable care organizations, created by the federal health law, are groups of doctors, hospitals and other health providers that coordinate care to reduce unnecessary federal spending and get to claim a portion of that savings. The report by the inspector general's office also found that the majority of the 428 ACOs in the shared-savings program improved the quality of care they provided. In other Medicare news, an advisory panel says there is little evidence that weight-loss surgeries work.

Modern Healthcare: Medicare Shared-Savings ACOs Cut $1 Billion In Costs Over Three Years
Accountable care organizations participating in the CMS' Medicare shared-savings program reduced spending by about $1 billion in three years, HHS' Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday. Most of the 428 ACOs in the first three years of the shared-savings program reduced Medicare spending compared to their benchmarks, and a small group of those ACOs produced "substantial" savings. (Livingston, 8/29)

Modern Healthcare: Medicare Panel Gives Low Vote Of Confidence To Weight-Loss Treatments
A panel that advises the CMS on Medicare coverage decisions said there wasn't enough information available on whether weight-loss surgeries and devices are beneficial for the program's enrollees, making it unlikely Medicare will expand coverage for more of the treatments. The Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee, or MEDCAC, voted Wednesday that it had low confidence that current weight-loss interventions are successful in treating the Medicare population. (Dickson, 8/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.