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HHS names 32 Pioneer ACOs

Program offers financial upside for first movers

Topics: Accountable Care, Market Trends, Strategy, ACO, Shared Savings Model, Health Policy, Medicare, Reimbursement, Finance

December 19, 2011

HHS on Monday announced that 32 health care organizations will participate in the Pioneer ACO program, which is designed to reward early adopters of coordinated care models.

According to an HHS news release, the program—which is administered by the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation—aims to foster collaboration among primary care physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals to improve care for Medicare patients. The department estimates that it could save $1.1 billion across five years.

Specifically, the initiative will test the effectiveness of innovative payment models and how they help organizations improve care quality, reduce costs, and coordinate services with private payers. The first performance period will begin on Jan. 1, 2012.

The 32 Pioneer ACOs underwent a rigorous evaluation—including a comprehensive review of applications and in-person interviews—and represent 18 states and various types of health care organizations, including physician-led organizations and health systems, and urban and rural organizations.

HHS received more than 80 applicants for the program, and the selected organizations include:

  • Allina Hospitals & Clinics
  • Atrius Health Services
  • Banner Health Network
  • Bellin-Thedacare Healthcare Partners
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization
  • Bronx Accountable Healthcare Network
  • Brown & Toland Physicians
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock ACO
  • Eastern Maine Healthcare System
  • Fairview Health Systems
  • Franciscan Health System
  • Genesys PHO
  • Healthcare Partners Medical Group
  • Healthcare Partners of Nevada
  • Heritage California ACO
  • JSA Medical Group, a division of HealthCare Partners
  • Michigan Pioneer ACO
  • Monarch Healthcare
  • Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association
  • North Texas Specialty Physicians
  • OSF Healthcare System
  • Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Partners Healthcare
  • Physician Health Partners
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services–Central New Mexico Pioneer Accountable Care Organization
  • Primecare Medical Network
  • Renaissance Medical Management Company
  • Seton Health Alliance
  • Sharp Healthcare System
  • Steward Health Care System
  • TriHealth, Inc.
  • University of Michigan

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "pioneer ACOs are leaders in our work to provide better care and reduce health care costs." She added, "we are excited that so many innovative systems are participating in this exciting initiative—and there are many other ways that health care providers can get involved and help improve care for patients" (HHS release, 12/19; Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 12/19 [subscription required]).

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