A study published online in this week’s JAMA Internal Medicine shows that Pioneer ACOs reduced “low-value” services in year one, without necessarily targeting such services. Researchers examined data on 31 services that provide minimal clinical benefit, for a 3-year period prior to 2012, the first year of the Pioneer program. The study authors found a 1.9% reduction in services, leading to a 4.5% reduction in spending on these services. The researchers noted that providers other than ACOs may benefit from reducing low-value services.
“Accountable care organization-like risk contracts may be able to discourage use of low-value services even without specifying services to target,” the researchers wrote.