Hospitals participating in Medicare accountable care organizations reduced rehospitalizations from skilled nursing facilities faster than other hospitals after the program was initiated, according to a study published last week in Health Affairs. The study compared rehospitalization rates between 2007 and 2013 for beneficiaries served by hospitals in metropolitan areas that were part of Medicare’s Pioneer or Shared Savings ACOs with beneficiaries served by hospitals in the same areas that were not. The Pioneer ACO model was introduced in January 2012 and the Shared Savings program in July 2012. “We found that all types of hospitals decreased their rehospitalization rates in the period 2007-13 from about 21%-23% to 18%-19%,” the authors said. “However, rates fell more rapidly for ACOs, and especially for Shared Savings Program hospitals, than for non-ACO-affiliated hospitals, after patient characteristics were controlled for.”

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