Preliminary results from California ACO exceed expectations

Early results from a pilot study where an insurer, a hospital organization and a physicians’ group have joined forces to integrate their systems to form an ACO have exceeded expectations, according to a press release by The California Public Employees' Retirement System (calPERS). 

For the pilot, the Pension System formed a partnership with the Blue Shield of California Health Maintenance Organization, Catholic Healthcare West, and Hill Physicians Medical Group with the goal of improving quality of care while reducing costs.  

Early findings:

  • There has been a 17 percent reduction in patient re-admissions since the pilot began.
  • Length of stay has been reduced by one half day.
  • Almost a 14% drop in the total days patients spend in a facility.
  • 50% reduction in the number of patients who stay in a hospital 20 or more days. 

It is estimated that these results will result in $15.5 million in savings.  All participants agree that the success is due largely to the focus of all entities on one common goal. 

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, April 14, 2011, calPERS Press Release,, April 12, 2011)