Authored by Kristine A. Schaan, M.A., CPG, NHA, Consultant
In November 2015 it was reported that two more Pioneer ACOs had exited the program, leaving 16 ACOs in total. The latest intelligence from CMS reveals an additional seven Pioneer ACOs are no longer participating in the program. This brings the number of remaining ACOs down to nine, in stark contrast to the 32 Pioneer ACOs originating from the outset of the program in 2012.
It has been no secret that Pioneer ACO requirements have been troubling for participants, spurring mass departures. Many of the ACOs generated savings but not enough to meet program benchmarks necessary to participate in shared savings. Additionally, several participants voiced concerns that risks of losses were disproportionate to the potential reward of achieving shared savings.
The advent of the Next Generation ACO Program, which builds off of experience from both the Pioneer and Medicare Shared Saving Programs, offers promise for both existing and prospective ACOs. Providers are already seeing the opportunities and enhanced incentives. Park Nicollet Health Services of Minnesota and Trinity Health ACO of Iowa, among others, have transitioned from the Pioneer to the Next Generation Program; additionally, a number of exited Pioneer ACO participants have considered pursuing Medicare’s newest ACO model.
Below is a listing, to date, of the last Pioneers standing: