Medicare Model Program Improved Care But Didn’t Lower Costs

A federal program that tested a new approach to the delivery of Medicare services to high-risk patients delivered on its promise to improve the quality of care for patients but did not reduce the cost of caring for those patients.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative improved access to care for patients in more than 500 participating medical practices and reduced their ER visits two percent but did not reduce Medicare’s cost for caring for these patients.  After several years in effect the program, which features enhanced care management for high-risk patients, improved coordination of care, and enhanced access to services, also achieved more timely post-discharge care.

A significant majority of participating doctors, while observing that the program’s reporting requirements were burdensome, also believed that the program improve the quality of care.

Learn more about this evaluation of Medicare’s Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative here, in the Health Affairs report “The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative: Effects On Spending, Quality, Patients, And Physicians,” or go here for a summary of the report on the Healthcare Dive web site.

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