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January 30, 2014 AT 9:48 AM
A top Medicare official said Thursday the section of the Affordable Care Act aimed at changing the treatment of Medicare beneficiaries saved the program more than $380 million in its first year of operation. Accountable Care Organizations were created as part of the 2010 health care law and started in a series of pilot programs around the country. Instead of paying health care providers for each service they perform, ACOs focus on keeping patients out of the hospital. Jonathan Blum, the principal deputy administrator for the Center for Medicare Services said the organizations are reporting even lower costs than Medicare as a whole, which has had record low spending increases in recent years.