On May 4, 2015, CMS announced that the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model generated $384 million in savings to Medicare over two years. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, which was authorized by the ACA, health care organizations and providers with experience coordinating care across settings may share in Medicare savings generated if they meet quality performance standards, but they are at risk of paying a share of any losses generated. While the 32 individual Pioneer ACOs had different levels of savings relative to local markets during their first two years, they collectively saved about $300 per participating beneficiary per year on average, with most savings accruing in the first performance year.
CMS also announced that the CMS Office of the Actuary has certified that the Pioneer ACO model is the first to meet the ACA criteria for expansion to a larger population of Medicare beneficiaries. According to an HHS press release, CMS intends to look for ways to apply elements of this model to permanent Medicare programs.