Ascension Seton Saves $10M, Will Share Half Locally


Young doctor visiting an elderly woman at her bed

By achieving goals for improving health care locally while lowering overall costs, Ascension Seton’s accountable care organization (ACO) saved almost $10.6 million in Medicare costs during 2014, federal officials have announced.

As a result, the Ascension Seton ACO and its partners – which include Austin Regional Clinic (ARC), Lone Star Circle of Care and Ascension Seton Adult Inpatient Medical Services – will share almost $5.3 million of the savings.

Seton’s ACO is among 97 throughout the U.S. that met U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ goals and earned bonuses totaling $411 million – almost half the savings they produced. The overall savings was noted in a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on 2014 quality and financial performance results for 353 ACOs.

“I thank my entire team and our partners for this impressive accomplishment, which is further evidence of Seton’s commitment to provide coordinated, patient-centered care for Central Texas,” Ascension Seton ACO President Jeff Cook said.

Ascension Seton ACO and the other 96 noted in the report “continue to generate financial savings while improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries by fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and health care providers,” CMS stated in a news release.

“The Medicare ACO partnership between ARC, Ascension Seton and other partners has demonstrated that patient-centered medical homes are working well to improve Medicare patients’ access to primary, specialty and hospital care and the quality of care patients receive,” said Dr. Anas Daghestani, ARC Director of Population Health & Clinical Quality.

“Delivering the right care at the right time reduces costs to the health care system, improves quality and ultimately results in better, more coordinated care management,” he said.  “We’re pleased that our collaboration resulted in savings that will be reinvested in patient care and even more pleased that the savings are a direct result of providing high quality, coordinated care.”

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare.

For more detailed quality and financial results on the CMS website, click here.

Additional Resources

Visit the Medicare Shared Savings Program  News and Updates webpage to access the HHS press release and fact sheet, the link to the Performance Year 2014 results file, and to learn more about the program.