September 17, 2019
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (the Innovation Center) posted the second annual report for the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Investment Model (AIM). This investment model was developed in response to concerns from providers about not having the necessary capital to invest in care management to increase care quality for beneficiaries. The model was designed to encourage ACOs to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (SSP) by offering upfront shared saving payments to providers. There are currently 45 ACOs participating in this investment model.
AIM ACOs received most payments upfront for two years, totaling in $95.6 million distributed through 2017. CMS has recouped 39.1%, or $37.4 million, in shared savings thus far. The report found that during the second year of the model, total spending declined by $187.7 million for those participating in the model. ACOs participating in the program were mostly rural and included safety net providers and critical access hospitals; many non-AIM SSP ACOs did not include these provider types. 80% of the AIM ACOs utilized a management company, helping to maintain day-to-day operations. While not statistically significant, the second annual report indicated ACOs that utilized a management firm were more successful in lowering overall Medicare costs. Additionally, 63.2% of AIM SSP ACOs indicated they would not have participated in the SSP without the AIM funds.
More information about the ACO Investment Model can be found here.