The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model was designed by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Innovation Center to encourage the development of ACOs which are groups of healthcare organizations and providers (e.g. doctors) that work together to provide care for their patients at a lower cost to Medicare while maintaining quality standards.
The payment model being tested in the first two years of the Pioneer ACO Model was a shared savings payment policy with generally higher levels of shared savings and risk for Pioneer ACOs than levels currently proposed in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. In year three of the program, participating ACOs that have shown a specified level of savings over the first two years will be eligible to move a substantial portion of their payments to a population-based model (see Pioneer ACO Model).
However, the CMS Innovation Center’s Pioneer ACO initiative requires participating hospitals and doctors to repay Medicare for failing to meet performance targets on quality and savings (see Dartmouth-Hitchcock exits Medicare’s Pioneer ACO Program ). The Dartmouth-Hitchcock ACO exit follows earlier departures that are reported to have reduced the number of Pioneers to 19 from the original 32.
DHMC participates in various programs and we reported last year that they received a grant of nearly $1M from the USDA to deploy telemedicine equipment and services and a further $150k from the Missy Project in Texas to enable telehealth access neurovascular specialists.