Pioneer ACOs: Lessons Learned from Participants and Dropouts

September 23, 2013

More than a third of Pioneer ACOs succeeded in reducing costs in Medicare in their first year, according to a recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report. The program initially saved Medicare about $87 million and cut Medicare spending by 0.5 percent.

The Pioneer ACO model is a CMS Innovation Center initiative that was authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Thirty-two organizations across the nation, which were already experienced in coordinating care for patients throughout care settings, were selected to serve as Pioneer ACOs beginning January 1, 2012. While the majority of Pioneers will continue participation, nine of the thirty-two Pioneer ACOs announced that they would drop out of the program or transition into the traditional Medicare shared-savings program.

What are some of the lessons learned from Pioneer participants? Why are some organizations ending their participation? Are ACOs the right fit for every health care system? How was success measured under this model? Is one year enough time to draw firm conclusions about the program? What kind of progress has been observed in ACOs across the nation?

A distinguished panel of experts will addressed these and related questions.

Elliott Fisher, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and professor of medicine at Dartmouth, provided an overview of the progress and impact of ACOs nationwide.

Greg Sheff, executive vice president of clinical services at Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, spoke about some of the challenges Seton faced as a Pioneer ACO and why it decided to move into the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Steve Safyer, president and chief executive officer of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, discussed some of the successes in quality, outcomes, and costs of care that Montefiore encountered in its first year as a Pioneer ACO.

Ed Howard of the Alliance and Anne-Marie Audet of Commonwealth co-moderated the discussion.

Contact: Marilyn Serafini 202/789-2300

Follow the briefing on Twitter: #ACOs

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Anne-Marie Audet Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Elliott Fisher Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Steve Safyer Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Greg Sheff Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources