[What about]…the government’s Medicare savings? CMS actuaries offered three estimates for a three-year period: $170 million, $510 million and $960 million (the higher the estimate, the less likely it was to occur). Even the highest figure is only five-one-hundredths of 1 percent of the $1.842 trillion of Medicare’s estimated spending from 2012 to 2014. If CMS modifies its rules to make ACOs more attractive to hospitals and doctors, they would probably keep more of the savings ”” and Medicare less.
It’s a good bet that what’s true of ACOs also applies to other cost-cutting ideas from the Obama administration, such as “bundled payments” and “comparative effectiveness research.” The concepts seem smart, but they’re likely to suffer from micromanagement. They create jobs for lawyers and health-care “experts.” They sound impressive in speeches and op-ed pieces. But they don’t much “bend the cost curve,” and they mislead the public by suggesting that health spending is being controlled. It isn’t.