Shared Savings Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established a Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) to facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to improve the quality of care for Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) beneficiaries and reduce unnecessary costs. Eligible providers, hospitals, and suppliers may participate in the Shared Savings Program by creating or participating in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

The Shared Savings Program is designed to improve beneficiary outcomes and increase value of care by:

  • Promoting accountability for the care of Medicare FFS beneficiaries
  • Requiring coordinated care for all services provided under Medicare FFS
  • Encouraging investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes

The Shared Savings Program will reward ACOs that lower their growth in health care costs while meeting performance standards on quality of care and putting patients first. Participation in an ACO is purely voluntary.

The following information is available on the Shared Savings Program website:

Program News and Announcements

  • Find The latest news and updates about the Shared Savings Program and related initiatives.


  • The final rule for the Shared Savings Program was published in the Federal Register on November 2, 2011. A Link to the rule is located under “Notices and Guidance.” CMS encourages all interested providers and suppliers to review the rule and consider participating in the Shared Savings Program.

Medicare Data to Calculate Your Primary Service Areas

  • Data that helps applicants to the Shared Savings Program to calculate their Primary Service Area.

Shared Savings Program Application

  • This section provides Important information  on the application process, including the Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) Memo, which is the first step in the application process, and the application and appendices.

Quality Measures and Performance Standards

  • The latest information about Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) quality measures.

Shared Savings Program ACO Agreement

  • The Agreement that all applicants to the Shared Savings Program must sign once they are approved.

CMS Regional Office Contacts for ACOs

  • Geographical list of contacts for ACO or Shared Savings Program related questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A list of frequently asked questions about the Shared Savings Program and application process.

CMS Teleconferences and Events

  • Upcoming and previous teleconferences and other events related to the Shared Savings Program as well as links to presentation materials.

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations

The Affordable Care Act established a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations (Innovation Center) that will test innovative care and service delivery models.

Working in concert with the Shared Savings Program, the CMS Innovation Center is testing an alternative ACO model, the Pioneer ACO Model. The Pioneer ACO Model is designed to support organizations with experience operating as ACOs or in similar arrangements in providing more coordinated care to beneficiaries at a lower cost to Medicare. The Pioneer ACO Model will test the impact of different payment arrangements in helping these organizations achieve the goals of providing better care to patients and reducing Medicare costs.

The CMS Innovation Center is also testing the Advance Payment ACO Model, which will provide additional support to physician-owned and rural providers participating in the Shared Savings Program who would benefit from additional start-up resources to build the necessary infrastructure, such as hiring new staff or improving information technology systems.