Dec 19 2011

HHS Announces 32 Pioneer ACOs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that 32 health care organizations will participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Program.

The Pioneer ACO model was designed specifically for groups of providers with experience working together to coordinate care for patients. According to HHS, Pioneer ACOs will test innovative payment models to help experienced organizations provide better care for beneficiaries, work in coordination with private payers, and reduce Medicare cost growth. Distinct from the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Advance Payment ACO model, the Pioneer ACO program was designed to allow provider groups to move more rapidly from a shared savings payment model to a population-based payment model.

HHS received 80 applications for the Pioneer ACO model initiative. The selected ACOs represent 18 states and a variety of health care organizations, including physician-led organization and health systems as well as urban and rural organizations. The first performance period for Pioneer ACOs begins January 1, 2012.

For more information about the Pioneer ACO program, please see the HHS fact sheet. A list of selected Pioneer ACOs is available here.