CMS moves to strengthen primary care

CMS unveiled the Making Care Primary Model, a new primary care initiative aimed at enhancing healthcare outcomes and equity for individuals and communities, June 8. 

The MCP Model is touted as a significant step towards fortifying the primary care infrastructure in the United States, particularly for safety net organizations and smaller or independent primary care providers. 

Here are five key takeaways from the press release:

1. The MCP Model seeks to enhance patient care by expanding and improving care management and coordination. It aims to equip primary care clinicians with tools to establish partnerships with healthcare specialists and leverage community-based connections to address patients' health needs.

2. The primary objectives of the MCP Model are to ensure integrated, coordinated, person-centered and accountable primary care for patients. Additionally, it aims to facilitate value-based care arrangements for primary care organizations and practices, especially smaller, independent, rural and safety net organizations. 

3. Participants in the MCP Model will receive additional revenue to improve infrastructure, enhance the accessibility of primary care services, and facilitate better care coordination with specialists. CMS anticipates long-term savings through improved preventive care and a reduction in avoidable costs such as repeat hospitalizations.

4. The MCP Model will run for 10.5 years, starting from July 1, 2024, to December 31, 2034. It builds upon previous primary care models and will be tested in eight states: Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Washington. 

5. CMS plans to collaborate with State Medicaid Agencies and engage private payers to ensure full care transformation across public programs. Primary care organizations within the participating states can apply for the MCP Model when the application opens in late summer 2023, with the model officially launching on July 1, 2024.

5. The MCP Model includes a three-track approach based on participants' experience level with value-based care and alternative payment models, catering to varying readiness levels of primary care clinicians.

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