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CMS announces multi-state initiative to strengthen primary care

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | June 09, 2023 Primary Care

“The goal of the Making Care Primary Model is to improve care for people with Medicaid and Medicare,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “This model is one more pathway CMS is taking to improve access to care and quality of care, especially to those in rural areas and other underserved populations. This model focuses on improving care management and care coordination, equipping primary care clinicians with tools to form partnerships with health care specialists, and partnering with community-based organizations, which will help the people we serve with better managing their health conditions and reaching their health goals.”

Strong relationships with primary care teams are essential for patients’ overall health. Primary care clinicians provide preventive services, help manage chronic conditions, and coordinate care with other clinicians. By investing in care integration and care management capabilities, primary care teams will be better equipped to address chronic disease and lessen the likelihood of emergency department visits and acute care stays, ultimately lowering costs of care. This model will support participants with varying levels of experience with value-based care, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and physician practices with limited experience in value-based care, as CMS continues to work to reduce disparities in care and drive better patient experience and outcomes.

“Ensuring stability, resiliency, and access to primary care will only improve the health care system,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Director Liz Fowler. “The Making Care Primary Model represents an unprecedented investment in our nation’s primary care network and brings us closer to our goal of reaching 100% of Traditional Medicare beneficiaries and the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries in accountable care arrangements, including advanced primary care, by 2030.”

The model includes a progressive three-track approach based on participants’ experience level with value-based care and alternative payment models. Participants, which include FQHCs, Indian Health Service facilities, and Tribal clinics, among others, in all three tracks will receive enhanced payments, with participants in Track One focusing on building infrastructure to support care transformation. In Tracks Two and Three, the model will include certain advance payments and will offer more opportunities for bonus payments based on participant performance. This approach will support clinicians across the readiness continuum in their transition to value-based care, furthering CMS’s goal to ensure 100% of traditional Medicare beneficiaries are in a care relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care.

Primary care organizations within participating states may apply when the application opens in late summer 2023. The model will launch on July 1, 2024.

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