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About the Program

The Shared Savings Program is committed to achieving better health for individuals, better population health, and lowering growth in expenditures.

Shared Savings Program

The Shared Savings Program offers providers and suppliers (e.g., physicians, hospitals, and others involved in patient care) an opportunity to create a new type of health care entity, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). An ACO agrees to be held accountable for the quality, cost, and experience of care of an assigned Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiary population. The Shared Savings Program has different tracks that allow ACOs to select an arrangement that makes the most sense for their organization.

The Shared Savings Program is an alternative payment model that:

  • Promotes accountability for a patient population.
  • Coordinates items and services for Medicare FFS beneficiaries.
  • Encourages investment in high quality and efficient services.

 

Accountable Care Organizations

The Shared Savings Program is a voluntary program that encourages groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to come together as an ACO to give coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients.

To learn more about ACOs, see the Accountable Care Organizations webpage.

For providers interested in learning more about participation in Shared Savings Program ACOs, see For Providers.

 

National Participation

map of national participation in the Shared Savings Program

To learn more about the number and geographic location of Shared Savings Program ACOs, see Program Data.

 

Shared Savings Program ACO Participation Options

The Shared Savings Program offers different participation options (tracks) that allow ACOs to assume various levels of risk.

Track Financial Risk Arrangement Description
1 One-sided Track 1 ACOs do not assume downside risk (shared losses) if they do not lower growth in Medicare expenditures.
Medicare ACO Track 1+ Model* Two-sided Medicare ACO Track 1+ Model (Track 1+ Model) ACOs assume limited downside risk (less than Track 2 or Track 3).
2 Two-sided Track 2 ACOs may share in savings or repay Medicare losses depending on performance. Track 2 ACOs may share in a greater portion of savings than Track 1 ACOs.
3 Two-sided Track 3 ACOs may share in savings or repay Medicare losses depending on performance. Track 3 ACOs take on the greatest amount of risk, but may share in the greatest portion of savings if successful.

*The Track 1+ Model is a time-limited CMS Innovation Center model. An ACO must concurrently participate in Track 1 of the Shared Savings Program in order to be eligible to participate in the Track 1+ Model.

To learn more about the different tracks and the Track 1+ Model, see the Track 1+ Model Fact Sheet (Updated 7/2017).

 

Frequently Asked Questions

CMS has made available frequently asked questions (FAQs) to reference for more information about the program. To read these FAQs, refer to the Medicare FFS FAQs.

 

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