FRIDAY, June 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) — From 2013 to 2018, there was a more than threefold increase in radiologist participation in Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to a study published online May 19 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Stefan Santavicca, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and colleagues characterized radiologist participation in MSSP ACOs from 2013 to 2018.

The researchers found an increase in the percentage of Medicare-participating radiologists affiliated with MSSP ACOs, from 10.4 percent in 2013 to 34.9 percent in 2018. The share of large ACOs (>20,000 beneficiaries) with participating radiologists averaged 87.0 percent during that time, while increases were seen in the shares of medium ACOs (10,000 to 20,000) and small ACOs (<10,000) with participating radiologists, from 62.5 to 66.0 percent and 26.3 to 51.6 percent, respectively. MSSP ACOs with radiologists had a substantially larger number of physicians than those without radiologists (mean range across years, 573 to 945 versus 107 to 179). For ACOs without radiologists, primary care physicians accounted for a larger percentage of the physician population (average across years, 66.3 versus 38.5 percent), while a higher rate of specialist representation was seen in ACOs with radiologists (56.0 versus 33.7 percent).

“This study shows that economic incentives of value-based care are reaching beyond the patient-facing specialties such as primary care providers to specialties like radiology to whom patients are not typically attributed,” one coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed ties to NeuTigers.

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