Pioneer ACOs drop to half their original number

Two more accountable care organizations left the Pioneer program this week, bringing the total that have publicly dropped it to 16.

In 2012, 32 ACOs joined the “Pioneer” model, in which they would take full financial risk for losses, as well as the potential for bonuses, depending on their outcomes and how well they controlled costs. Just 16 ACOs remain in Pioneer, which reported modest success this summer thanks in part to participating organizations' attention to post-acute care costs and quality.

The news of the latest Pioneer dropouts comes as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to name the participants of its newest ACO model, the Next Generation. It seeks to address some of the issues providers experienced with the Pioneer model. Some providers that left the Pioneer model have reportedly signed on to the Next Generation, Modern Healthcare reports.