Policy Experts: Pioneer ACO Results Show Good Potential

The mixed first-year results for the CMS Pioneer Accountable Care Organization model were inevitable and provide a reason to hope, wrote National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra Ness and Bill Kramer of the Pacific Business Group on Health in a Health Affairs blog entry.

The real measure of success for ACOs will be their ability to provide better-coordinated, more patient-centered care to millions, a goal they might not reach in just one year, wrote Mr. Kramer and Ms. Ness.

All 32 members of the Medicare Pioneer ACO Model were able to improve quality and patient satisfaction in the first year, but 12 didn't achieve significant savings. CMS also confirmed Tuesday that nine Pioneer ACOs would exit the program, with seven planning to join the Medicare Shared Savings Program and two exiting the Medicare ACO program completely.

Given that the problem ACOs are attempting to tackle is so complex, it's inevitable the initiative would show mixed results at this point and CMS should continue testing the care model, Ms. Ness and Mr. Kramer wrote. 

More Articles on Pioneer ACOs:
How Did Individual Pioneer ACOs Fare in Their First Year?
9 Fewer Pioneer ACOs: Healthcare Experts on What This Means for Accountable Care
All Pioneer ACOs Improve Quality, Just 13 Achieve Shared Savings 

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