Do ACOs improve spine surgery outcomes? 4 key findings

Written by Laura Dyrda | January 03, 2019 | Print  |

A new study published in The Spine Journal examined the impact of ACOs on outcomes for spine surgery. 

 

Study authors examined retrospective data from national Medicare claims for procedures that occurred between 2009 and 2014. The 344,813 patients included in the study either underwent lumbar spine procedures as part of an ACO or outside of the ACO. Most (97 percent) of the patients underwent surgery outside of the ACO.

The researchers found:

1. There were modest changes in patient outcomes among both groups over the time period studied, but the improvements were "slightly more dramatic" among patients who didn't participate in the ACO.

2. Between 2012 and 2014, the patients who were in ACOs reported an 18 percent increase in odds of 90-day complications and 14 percent greater chance of 90-day readmissions when compared with patients who did not participate in the ACO.

3. Both groups reported similar hospital mortality.

4. The study authors concluded ACOs did not demonstrate better postoperative outcomes for morbidity, mortality or readmissions. "These results indicate that meaningful changes in postoperative outcomes should not be anticipated based on organizational participation in ACOs at present."

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