Evaluating the Effects of the Medicare Pioneer ACO Model on Prescription Drug Use by Complex Medicare Beneficiaries


In its first two years, the Medicare Pioneer ACO Model has been credited with improving the quality of physician and hospital services and reducing their cost to Medicare. This project will seek to quantify the impact of the Pioneer program on prescription drug use and spending, which are not considered in calculations of shared savings. With a specific focus on complex beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, the investigators will determine whether increases in pharmaceutical spending are associated with spending reductions for physician and hospital care, and whether Pioneer ACOs that have earned shared savings in the past might also achieve savings if prescription drugs were added to the total spending mix. Insights from this study should prove useful to payers, providers, and policymakers as they refine the ACO model to ensure it improves quality and costs.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator:
Yuting Zhang, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
April 14, 2015

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