On January 30, 2014, CMS released results on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”) and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Program (“Pioneer ACO Program”) for 2012, the initial performance year of each program. The press release issued by CMS reported that the total savings to the Medicare program from the MSSP and Pioneer ACO Program exceeded $380 million in 2012.

In its press release and accompanying official blog post, CMS expressed the view that the results show the programs involving Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) were off to a “strong start” in “achieving significant savings and quality improvements.” The press release quoted U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as saying “These innovative programs are showing encouraging initial results, while providing valuable lessons as we strive to improve our nation’s health care delivery systems. Today’s findings demonstrate that organizations of various sizes and structures across the country are working with their physicians and engaging with patients to better coordinate and deliver high quality care while reducing expenditure growth.”