The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected 32 delivery systems to participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program authorized under the Affordable Care Act.

The program, which will test several new payment models that reward delivery of high levels of care while lowering overall costs, is designed for provider organizations that already have substantial experience in coordinating care. "To be eligible to participate in the Pioneer ACO Model, organizations would ideally already be coordinating care for a significant portion of patients under financial risk sharing contracts and be positioned to transform both their care and financial models from fee-for-service to a three-part value based model,” CMS noted in a May 2011 notice explaining the program. CMS at that time expected about 30 organizations would participate.

The selected organizations represent 18 states and about 860,000 Medicare beneficiaries. CMS’ ACO programs anticipate extensive use of health information technologies to document, coordinate and analyze care. More information, including profiles of the 32 selected organizations, is available here.

The Pioneer ACO is one of eight programs under the Affordable Care Act targeted to get providers to improve the coordination and quality of care while lowering costs. More information is available here.

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