New Initiative Launched to Strengthen Primary Care

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a new program on Wednesday known as the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, which was developed under the Affordable Care Act by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center. Under the program, Medicare will work with commercial and state health insurance plans to offer additional support to primary care doctors who better coordinate care for their patients.

The voluntary initiative will begin as a demonstration project in five to seven health care markets across the country. Public and private health care payers interested in applying to participate in the initiative must submit a Letter of Intent by November 15, 2011. In the markets selected, Medicare and its partners will enroll interested primary care providers into the initiative.

Support for physicians that choose to participate in the program will include:

  • Helping patients with serious or chronic diseases follow personalized care plans;
  • Giving patients 24-hour access to care and health information;
  • Delivering preventive care;
  • Engaging patients and their families in their own care; and
  • Working together with other doctors, including specialists, to provide better coordinated care.

CMS will pay primary care practices a monthly fee for these activities, in addition to the usual Medicare fees that these practices would receive for delivering Medicare-covered services. HHS says the initiative is modeled after innovative practices developed by larger employers and leading health insurers in the private sector.

Click here to access more information and application materials for the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative.

Additional information about the initiative and the CMS Innovation Center can be found at:


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