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Abstract

Despite its size and immense influence over health care in America, Medicare today is no monolith. It is comprised of three distinct payment programs though which it provides services to beneficiaries: "traditional," fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare; Medicare Advantage (MA); and the Medicare Shared Savings and Pioneer accountable care organizations (ACO) programs. These models, which strongly influence provider delivery arrangements and program costs, differ significantly along many dimensions important to beneficiaries and providers.

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