The CMS hit its first target for tying more Medicare spending to industry performance on quality and cost-containment.
An estimated 30% of Medicare spending outside of managed care is now in so-called alternative payment models, such as accountable care and bundled payments. The alternative models include financial incentives for hospitals, doctors and other providers to meet quality and savings targets.
That's up from 20% in 2014. Federal officials announced last year a push to move 30% of Medicare's non-managed-care spending into such contracts by the end of 2016 and 50% by 2018. About $117 billion of $380 billion in Medicare spending was tied to alternative contracts at the start of the year, the agency said.
“With the January 2016 announcement of 121 new ACOs as well as greater provider participation in other models, HHS today estimates that it has achieved that goal well ahead of schedule,” the agency said.
Growth in accountable care, which was launched in 2012 under the Affordable Care Act, was a major reason the CMS reached its 30% target. ACOs accounted for three-quarters of the targeted amount. Medicare's rapid push into accountable care and bundled payments has so far not been smooth. There have been some high-profile exits, mixed performance on savings, and industry pushback that has forced the CMS to make changes to maintain its momentum.