Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

Information for Medicare patients about your doctor's participation in the Pioneer ACO

Pioneer ACO Overview

Many Partners HealthCare-affiliated primary care physicians are participating in a new care coordination program called the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO), designed specifically for Medicare patients. Your primary care physician may be one of the physicians participating in this program. If he or she is, and you are a Medicare patient, you should have received a letter in the mail notifying you of this change. Our primary care physicians participating in the Pioneer ACO are affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Emerson Hospital, Hallmark Health System, and Pentucket Medical Associates.

The Pioneer ACO that Partners affiliated physicians are participating in is sponsored by Medicare. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients. Coordinated care helps ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

Find a list of providers participating in the Partners Pioneer ACO.

Enhancing the Care You Receive

By participating in the Pioneer ACO, your primary care physician has the opportunity to enhance the care you receive by better coordinating your care with your other health care providers. The goal of the Pioneer ACO is to deliver high quality care and better meet your individual needs and preferences. This is done by enabling your doctors to communicate closely with your other health care providers through enhanced sharing of your health care information. ACOs may be rewarded for providing you with better, more coordinated care.

Your Medicare Benefits

If your Partners affiliated physician is a part of the Pioneer ACO your benefits are not changing with this new program. And this is not a Medicare Advantage plan or an HMO. Your health coverage, premiums and insurance arrangements are unaffected. You do not need to do anything or change your doctor. You can continue to see the same clinicians as you normally do. And you are always free to choose any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare at any time.

Your primary care physician may continue to recommend that you see particular doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice of what doctors you use or hospitals you visit.

Partners' Commitment to High Quality Care

Partners HealthCare is committed to providing high quality, affordable care to our patients. Through the Pioneer ACO we will be able to create a better health care experience for you by working in a more coordinated way so that your medical needs can be more efficiently and effectively addressed.  By doing so we will be able to maintain and aim to improve the quality of your care.

Please see the links below for additional information.

There are a number of frequently asked questions and answers that may help you better understand your primary care provider's participation in an Accountable Care Organization.

Some Medicare beneficiaries may have recently received (during July 2015) a letter and form in the mail asking them to confirm their main doctor or group practice. These letters and forms are associated with a new Medicare initiative involving ACOs. Completion of the form is optional and will not affect your Medicare benefits. View Frequently Asked Questions concerning Voluntary Alignment.


Find a copy of the notification letter you received in the mail explaining what it means to be part of an Accountable Care Organization.

Partners HealthCare has formed a Governing Committee to provide guidance on overall direction for the Pioneer ACO.


Find results from Partners ACO's prior years of performance.


For More Information

For more information, please call the Pioneer ACO Hotline at Partners HealthCare:


or call Medicare at:

1-800-633-4227 (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048)

Contact the Partners ACO

Partners ACO
115 Fourth Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Primary Contact:

Dr. Sree Chaguturu


Goal of an ACO

The goal of an ACO is for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to work closely together to deliver coordinated, high-quality care.

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