Medicare Shared Savings Program

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give 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 succeeds both in delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.

Participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) is voluntary. Visit the Shared Savings Program web page to learn more about our program and its requirements.

Program participants are required to collect and report on 34 quality measures, including:

  • Patient/Caregiver Experience measures
  • Claims-based measures
  • Use of Certified EHR Technology
  • Measures reported via the CMS Web interface

ACOs, on behalf of their ACO Participants with MIPS eligible clinicians, must submit quality data for a sample of the ACO’s assigned Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries to meet Shared Savings Program reporting requirements. You can find Shared Savings Program Quality Measures and Performance Standards on our web page.

ACO Responsibilities for Survey Administration

All Shared Savings Program ACOs active as of January 1, 2018 are responsible for contracting with an approved vendor to administer the survey. Vendors must use the patient sample they get from CMS and follow the survey administration procedures and timelines posted on our Quality Assurance Guidelines page.

Shared Savings Program ACOs must complete the 2018 CAHPS for ACOs Survey vendor authorization process by September 18, 2018 and select a vendor from the final list of 2018 approved survey vendors. The survey vendor authorization process must be completed no later than September 18, 2018. Each ACO participating in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey will receive information about how to access the electronic vendor registration in July 2018.

Shared Savings Program ACOs may inform Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries about the survey. ACOs must use the CMS-approved communications template(s) provided below for all communication or outreach about the CAHPS for ACOs Survey. Any communication or outreach about the survey must be provided to all of an ACO's Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.

CMS-approved English Communications Template

CMS-approved Spanish Communications Template

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for ACOs measures experience of care for ACOs participating in Medicare initiatives. It is based on the Clinician and Group (CG CAHPS) survey and includes additional program specific survey questions.

Survey Instruments for the 2018 reporting period.

Click here for information about training for survey vendors.

The survey administration protocols are contained in the CAHPS for ACOs Survey Quality Assurance Guidelines