ACOs lose money in the first three years

Most health systems using an accountable care organization model will lose money during the first three years, concludes a new report published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors analyzed data from CMS' Physician Group Practice Demonstration, given that it had similar design elements to the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

They found that the high up-front investments make the ACO model a poor fit for most physician group practices and the time frame to make a reasonable return is more than five years. Even most large, experienced, integrated practices could not recover their initial investment within the first three years. Report