This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 14 regions and states that will participate in its new primary care model, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+). The initiative, which was announced in April, is a multi-payer, five-year medical home model that will begin January 2017, enabling primary care practices to care for patients in the ways they deem best to improve care. The regions selected can apply to participate until September 15.
CPC+, which is a public-private partnership, allows practices of diverse sizes, structures and ownership who are interested in qualifying for the incentive payment for Advanced Alternative Payment Models through the proposed Quality Payment Program. CMS estimates that up to 5,000 primary care practices serving an estimated 3.5 million beneficiaries could participate in the program.
In April, vice president of connected health at Partners in HealthCare in Boston Dr. Joseph Kvedar told MobiHealthNews he thought CPC+ will promote smart technology use for primary care providers. Building on that sentiment, CMS deputy administrator and chief medical officer Dr. Patrick Conway said it could allow new opportunities for those who could best benefit from non-traditional care delivery.
“As a key part of CPC+, CMS and partner payers are committed to supporting primary care practices of all sizes, including small, independent, and rural practices,” Conway said in a statement. “We see CPC+ as the future of primary care in the US and are pleased to partner with payers across the country that are aligned in this mission to transform our health care system. This model allows primary care practices to focus on what they care about most – serving their patients’ needs when and how they choose.”
When CPC+ was first announced, CMS excluded ACOS from the initiative, much to the consternation of some investors and policy advisors. Following the protests, CMS changed the initiative to allow a limited number of ACOs (1,500 of the 5,000 practices total). CPC+ builds on the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative that launched in late 2012. By aligning Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, CPC+ moves the healthcare system away from a one-size-fits-all, fee-for-service to a model that supports clinicians in delivering care that best meets the needs of their patients, meaning flexibility and an opportunity for telemedicine services to flourish.
The regions selected for CPC+ are divided into statewide and region-specific areas. Statewide: Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Ohio and Tennessee were selected. On the regional front: the Greater Kansas City region was selected for Kansas and Missouri, the North Hudson-Capital region for New York, the Greater Philadelphia region of Pennsylvania, and the Northern Kentucky region that also makes up part of Ohio.