Early Signs That ACOs Are Boosting Care, Saving Money

Bloomberg reports that hospitals across the U.S. are improving care and saving millions by creating accountable care organizations, one of the least-touted provisions of the health care law. In other news, Politico reports on a town hall meeting on the health law in Baltimore. Also, the Wall Street Journal details the steps one company is taking in anticipation of the 2014 coverage mandate.

Bloomberg: Obamacare Shows Hospital Savings As Patients Make Gains
Less than five months before the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in, hospitals are improving care and saving millions of dollars with one of the least touted but potentially most effective provisions of the law. While much of the focus on Obamacare has been on the government rush to open insurance exchanges by Oct. 1, 252 hospitals and physician groups across the U.S. have signed up to join the administration's accountable care program, in which they share the financial risk of keeping patients healthy (Wayne, 6/12).

Politico: Baltimore Holds Town Meeting On ACA
All those polls on just how little Americans understand about the health law sprung to life an hour north of Washington one evening this week, as Baltimore County held one of the first public forums to try to explain the new health care options and how to sign up for them. About 100 people, most middle-age adults to seniors, attended the session at a temple here Monday. Their questions provided a glimpse of the public's perceptions of Obamacare enrollment and underscored the challenge facing the law’s backers: Before people can sign up, they have to understand it (Haberkorn, 6/12).

The Wall Street Journal: At Work: What Makes Employees Stick Around? One Company Has an Answer
Now that the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline is getting closer, firms with many part-time or hourly workers are beginning to finalize their decisions on eligibility and workforce scheduling, with a number of employers choosing to cut employees’ hours and skirt coverage requirements. But not every company is choosing that route. The Cumberland Gulf Group is expected to announce Tuesday that it is maintaining or expanding some workers' schedules to make them eligible for company-sponsored care. Its reasoning: The increased costs for care will pay off in the long run, with better employee retention and customer service (Weber, 6/10).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.