- CMS' Pioneer ACO Model is set to enter its third and final year with half the number of participating accountable care organizations that began it.
- The program started in 2012 with 32 ACOs that agreed to accept bonuses and losses based on performance and Medicare spending.
- Although the CMS has not announced recent Pioneer drop-outs, the number that have publicly exited the program increased this week to 16, Modern Healthcare reports.
The departures from the Pioneer program are "not alarming," as the temporary arrangement is not a fit for every ACO, Leavitt Partners' David Muhlestein told Modern Healthcare. At the same time, the program has proven a valuable experiement.
"The Pioneer experience has taught the CMS what works and what doesn't, and that's reflected in Next Generation," says Dr. Kavita Patel of the Brookings Institution.
Indeed, some of the recent Pioneer dropouts are considering a return as Next Generation ACOs. The Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association and the Steward Health Care System tell Modern Healthcare they are waiting to hear final program details, expected to come out in December.
CMS says the Next Generation ACO Model will set predictable financial targets and enable greater opportunities to coordinate care.