The “Pioneer” Model: CMS’s Alternative Shared Savings Program for ACOs

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In an apparent effort to encourage hesitant hospitals and providers to participate as Medicare accountable care organizations, CMS has designed an accelerated program for advanced organizations that are already clinically integrated to participate in a shared savings program as early as this fall.

Organizations that have already decided not to participate in the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s (CMS) proposed Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) as an accountable care organization (ACO) might want to reconsider. On May 17, 2011, CMS issued a request for applications for participants in an alternative ACO model, the Pioneer ACO model, designed to achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim of better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower expenditures in health care.

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