Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Showing Mixed Results

The federal Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is achieving some of its objectives but not others, according to a new Health Affairs study.

The program, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, seeks to use five means – risk-stratified care management, improved access to and continuity of care, planned care for chronic conditions and preventive care, patient and caregiver engagement, and coordination of care – to “achieve improved care, better health for populations, and lower costs, and can inform future Medicare and Medicaid policy.”

According to the Health Affairs study, the program is achieving some of these objectives.

CPC practices reported improvements in primary care delivery, including care management for high-risk patients, enhanced access, and improved coordination of care transitions. The initiative slowed growth in emergency department visits by 2 percent in CPC practices, relative to comparison practices.

But it is not achieving all of its goals.  It did not, for example,

 … reduce Medicare spending enough to cover care management fees or appreciably improve physician or beneficiary experience or practice performance on a limited set of Medicare claims-based quality measures.

Learn more about the study, its findings, and its implications in the Health Affairs report “The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative: Effects On Spending, Quality, Patients, And Physicians,” which can be found here.

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