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Analysis of Healthcare Cost and Utilization in the First Two Years of the Medicare Shared Savings Program Using Big Data from the CMS Enclave.
The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) is the larger of the first two Accountable Care Organization (ACO) programs by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this study we assessed healthcare cost and utilization of 1.71 million Medicare beneficiaries assigned to the 333 MSSP ACOs in the calendar years of 2013 and 2014, in comparison to years 2010 and 2011, using the official CMS data. We employed doubly robust estimation (propensity score weighting followed by generalized linear regression) to adjust the analyses to beneficiary personal traits, history of chronic conditions, previous healthcare utilization, ACO administrative region, and ZIP code socioeconomic factors. In comparison to the care delivered to the control cohort of 17.7 million non-ACO beneficiaries, we found that the care patterns for ACO beneficiaries shifted away from some costly types of care, but at the expense of increased utilization of other types, increased imaging and testing expenditures, and increased medication use, with overall net greater increase in cost instead of smaller increase.