With accountable care organization (ACO) Pioneers to launch before the year's end, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week, the industry is waiting to hear who the final 30 ACO Pioneers will be. To some surprise, it wasn't Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health System, and Intermountain Healthcare, who were among the most likely candidates to join the ACO experiment. The leading health systems, along with others in the industry, complained the draft CMS rules were too burdensome and didn't offer enough incentive to join the Shared Savings or Pioneer program.
"When the poster boys ask that the posters be taken down, you have a problem," said Michael Millenson, president of Health Quality Advisors LLC, in a Kaiser Health News-Politico Pro article.
The no-thanks approach that Mayo, Cleveland, Geisinger, and Intermountain took signaled similar doubts from physician organizations, such as the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Medical Group Management Association, the American Medical Group Association, and the American Medical Association, who generally gave a thumbs down to the ACO Medicare Shared Savings Program draft rules, the program that will proceed the Pioneer program.
However, even with circulating skepticism around ACOs, anywhere between 30 to 50 organizations have applied to the Pioneer program, according to the Advisory Board Company, reports Kaiser-Politico. Among the applicants are Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, Monarch HealthCare in California, Norton Healthcare in Kentucky, Banner Health in multiple states, Mountain States Health Alliance (multiple states), Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and Montefiore Medical Center in New York.
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