CMS May Open Pioneer ACO Program to More Applicants

After nine accountable care organizations dropped out of the Pioneer ACO model this year, leaving the program with 23 participants, CMS is considering opening the application process to allow more organizations to join the program.

CMS issued a request for information to gauge organizations' interest in joining the current Pioneer program. It is seeking answers to the following questions:

1. Would additional healthcare organizations be interested in applying to the model? Why or why not?
2. If more applicants were solicited for the model, should CMS limit the number of selected organizations or accept all that meet the qualifying criteria? What are the advantages or disadvantages of both?
3. Should any additional refinements be made to the model that would increase the number of applicants?

In addition to the RFI to gauge interest in expanding the program, CMS is also seeking comments on new ACO models that encourage more care integration and financial accountability.

Comments need to be received by CMS by March 1, 2014. Comments can be submitted electronically here.

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