9 Pioneer ACOs Expected to Exit
The announcement of nine of the 32 Pioneer ACOs to exit the program is insignificant to the overall value-based system according to Tom Cassels, leader of the healthcare advisory board of The Advisory Board Co. Four of the nine organizations are expected to join the Medicare’s Shared Savings Program (MSSP).
These Pioneer ACOs may find it difficult to take a down-size risk potentially involved with ACOs. Their challenging populations, risk contracts with commercial payers, self-insured employers, high-cost Medicaid plans and lack of sufficient health IT infrastructure to collect quality data that shows Meaningful Use can easily attribute to their decision to leave.
“When you have a very challenging population, and you don’t have all those levers, you might say to yourself, ‘We don’t have these tools we need in this contract to be financially sustainable.’ I think that is the case for multiple ACOs in both of the Medicare programs, and it will likely be the case for a lot of ACOs that don’t have the ability to pull those levers.”
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