Monday, July 01, 2013 CMS: Pioneer ACO Model Participants May Leave Program The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week that 9 of its 32 Pioneer ACO Model participants may leave the program, with 4 likely to join Medicare's Shared Savings Program. ModernHealthcare.com quoted CMS spokesman Alper Ozinal as saying, "We fully anticipated that as these programs get up and running, some organizations would shift between models." The Pioneer ACO model features higher levels of savings and risk than the Shared Savings Program. Pioneer ACO Model participants have until July 31, 2013, to decide how to proceed. The Pioneer ACO Model was authorized under the Affordable Care Act and launched in January 2012 by CMS to help accountable care organizations transition from a fee-for-service payment structure to improve patient care, increase Medicare savings, lower costs, and to test alternative program designs to inform future rulemaking for the Medicare Shared Savings Program. APTA members can learn more about a physical therapist's role in an ACO by visiting APTA's webpage, FAQ: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs): Medicare Shared Savings Program and Pioneer Models.