Medicare Shared Savings Program: public reporting and shared savings distributions

John Schulz, Matthew DeCamp, Scott A. Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine if Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organizations (ACOs) are meeting public reporting requirements related to shared savings plans, to quantitate the composition of shared savings distribution plans, and to investigate whether early ACO success is associated with specific plan or ACO characteristics.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODS: ACO descriptive characteristics and distribution plan details were abstracted from official ACO websites for all 338 active MSSP ACOs launched through January 2014. Publicly available MSSP results from 2012 and 2013 start date ACOs were used to investigate associations with successful shared savings generation.

RESULTS: Of current MSSP ACOs, 313 of 338 (93%) maintain a website, 284 of 338 (84%) provided at least a general statement about shared savings distributions, and 176 of 338 (52%) reported detailed allocation percentages to ACO participants. On average, ACOs reporting detailed allocations planned to give 63% (range = 0%-100%; SD = 26.3) to their primary care providers (PCPs), specialists, and/or hospitals, and 33% (range = 0%-100%; SD = 25.6) to infrastructure. ACOs including a hospital planned to give a larger average percentage to participating entities than those without (69% vs 58%; P = .01). ACOs planning to give > 50% to their PCPs and specialists were more likely to have generated savings (P = .001), as were ACOs composed of > 10 participating entities (P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: Just over one-half of MSSP ACOs report detailed shared savings distribution plans online, and these plans vary widely. There appears to be no single shared savings distribution plan determinate of ACO success. Continued investigation of predictors for generating savings is needed to inform future shared savings models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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