Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs can lower Medicare spending in rural areas, suggests a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The study looks at the ACO Investment Model, an incentive created by CMS to increase MSSP ACOs in rural areas. The researchers compared Medicare claims and enrollment data for patients of 41 ACOs in the model. They compared this data to that of similar patients, in the same markets, who did not receive care from providers in an ACO.

They found patients who participated in ACOS were hospitalized less and required less institutional post-acute care, which reduced spending by a net of $10.46 per patient per month. Across all patients, the ACOs generated an aggregate net savings of $48.6 million.

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