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News Release
July 24, 2019 

Statement on the Office of Inspector General Report on the Medicare Shared Savings Program
Attributed to Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) 

Today’s report from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (OIG) is a roadmap for success in accountable care that should be read by policymakers and ACOs alike. This OIG report outlines best practices of 20 high-preforming ACOs and includes topics such as engaging physicians and beneficiaries, addressing social determinants of health, using technology to share information, and incorporating behavioral health. Following up its 2017 report that praised ACOs’ ability to improve quality, today’s OIG report found high-performing ACOs lowered spending by an average of $673 per beneficiary through practices such as using primary care visits to reduce emergency department visits. 

NAACOS agrees with the recommendations and works to share strategies that optimize ACOs’ work, which the OIG thoughtfully outlined. For example, we are working through our Institute for Accountable Care on caring for high-cost, high-need patients.  We know it can take as long as four years before ACOs achieve savings. Achieving success is an iterative process that takes time learning what works and what’s needed within an organization and community and is made harder by the lack of a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. 

The OIG notably recommends CMS review the impact of its recent Pathways to Success rule changes for the Shared Savings Program, including those that affect participation. As NAACOS said last week when CMS released the latest participants, the agency should carefully monitor the slowing growth to ensure the pipeline of future, risk-taking ACOs remains strong while current ACOs don’t drop out of the program. 


David Pittman
NAACOS Health Policy and Communications Advisor
202-640-2689 or [email protected]