(This story was corrected on July 25, 2013.)
Several Medicare Pioneer accountable care organizations that didn't produce savings in the first year of the Obama administration's most ambitious test of the accountable care model have told the CMS they will leave the Pioneer program and enter the Medicare Shared Savings Program model, while another two participants have indicated they will leave Medicare accountable care entirely, the federal agency announced Tuesday.
At the same time, the CMS said all 32 Pioneer participants did well on reported quality measures and earned incentive payments for their quality achievements. The Pioneer ACOs bested provider performance in traditional fee-for-service Medicare for all 15 quality measures in which comparable data are available, the agency said.
But while all did well on meeting quality benchmarks, only 13 produced enough savings to share some of that money with the CMS. Those 13 yielded gross savings of $87.6 million in 2012, saving about $33 million for Medicare.
Still, the CMS reported that costs for the nearly 670,000 Medicare beneficiaries connected to Pioneer ACOs grew by only 0.3% in 2012, compared with an increase of 0.8% for matched beneficiaries who did not take part in the Pioneer program.
The CMS said that Primecare Medical Network, University of Michigan, Physician Health Partners, Seton Health Alliance, Plus (North Texas Specialty Physicians and Texas Health Resources), HealthCare Partners Nevada ACO, HealthCare Partners California ACO, JSA Care Partners and Presbyterian Project Japan Services will not continue in the second year of the Pioneer program. Only the University of Michigan earned savings in the first year.
Plus and Presbyterian do not intend to transition into the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Project Japan confirmed in interviews with their executives.