The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative reduced hospitalizations and emergency department visits and improved primary care delivery for beneficiaries, but did not reduce Medicare spending enough to cover care management fees or significantly improve quality, according to a final report on the initiative released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and reported online by Health Affairs. Launched in 2012, the four-year initiative tested whether multi-payer support of 502 primary care practices would improve care delivery or quality, or reduce spending. “The full four-year results of this evaluation are particularly relevant now because primary care initiatives may qualify as advanced Alternative Payment Models under CMS’s Quality Payment Program,” the authors said. “In addition, CMS and other payers are increasingly interested in effective primary care programs as they pursue value-based purchasing. Moreover, these findings can be helpful to the payers, practices and other participants in Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, a model that is now being implemented in 3,000 practices.” CMS recently issued a request for information on direct provider contracting models, another approach to value-based primary care. The AHA has been obtaining feedback from members on this RFI and will weigh in with CMS on improvements and considerations tomorrow.

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