Leavitt Partners Releases “The Medicaid ACO Landscape” White Paper

Salt Lake City, May 1, 2019—Today, Leavitt Partners released “The Medicaid ACO Landscape,” a white paper providing insight into the number, geographic dispersion, characteristics, and success of Medicaid ACOs as of the end of 2018. This snapshot of Medicaid ACOs was created using data from Torch Insight™, a proprietary analytics platform and compendium of health care data. Although Medicaid ACOs have not grown to the same extent as the Medicare and commercial counterparts, early evaluations indicate that Medicaid ACOs remain a promising way for states to reduce costs and provide more coordinated care for their Medicaid populations.

Leavitt Partners’ analysis shows that:

  1. ACOs with at least one Medicaid contract make up 8 percent of ACOs. Of the 1,013 existing ACOs at the end of 2018, only 86 were Medicaid ACOs.
  2. Medicaid ACOs cover fewer lives than Medicare and commercial ACOs—3.7 million lives versus a combined 30.2 million lives. However, Medicaid ACOs’ covered lives tend to be more concentrated across contracts, giving Medicaid ACOs greater scale in the markets where they operate. Medicaid ACOs also cover 2-3 times as many lives per contract as Medicare and commercial ACOs.
  3. 21 percent of Medicaid ACOs are physician-led, 33 percent are hospital system-led, and 46 percent are led by an integrated physician-hospital system. Policymakers need to understand the nature of these different ACO types in order to support their development.
  4. Early analyses show Medicaid ACOs yield promising results in financial and care quality outcomes.

David Muhlestein, chief research officer at Leavitt Partners, noted that “positive outcomes in early state Medicaid ACO programs should encourage other states considering such programs as an option to improve outcomes and reduce costs.” Despite Medicaid ACOs exiting the market, the net increase in ACO contracts indicates that ACOs that are staying in Medicaid are maturing and taking on more contracts.

The white paper can be viewed here.

About Leavitt Partners:
Leavitt Partners is a health care intelligence business. The firm helps clients successfully navigate the evolving role of value in health care by informing, advising, and convening industry leaders on value market analytics, alternative payment models, federal strategies, insurance market insights, and alliances. Through its family of businesses, the firm provides investment support, data and analytics, member-based alliances, and direct services to clients to support decision-making strategies in the value economy. For more information please visit