The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model saved Medicare nearly $400 million in its first two years.
A payment model created under the Affordable Care Act, the Pioneer Model was designed for health systems that are already experienced in coordinating care for patients across care settings to achieve cost savings while delivering high-quality outcomes.
The Pioneer Model generated more than $384 million in savings to Medicare for 2012 and 2013, which is an average of approximately $300 per participating beneficiary per year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Compared to their counterparts in regular fee-for-service or Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare beneficiaries who are in Pioneer ACOs on average report more timely care and better communication with their providers; use inpatient hospital services less and have fewer tests and procedures; and have more follow-up visits from their providers after hospital discharge, according to HHS’ report findings, as reported by Home Health Care News.
“The [Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’] certification that expansion of Pioneer ACOs would reduce net Medicare spending, coupled with [HHS] Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s determination that expansion would maintain or improve patient care without limiting coverage or benefits, means that HHS will consider ways to scale the Pioneer ACO Model into other Medicare programs,” HHS said in a statement.