On Wednesday, CMS announced that it has selected 500 primary care practices to participate in a four-year pilot program that will reward health care providers who better coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries, Government Health IT reports.
CMS selected the practices based on factors such as their:
- Adoption of electronic health record systems;
- Use of other health IT systems; and
- Ability to use data tools to provide patients with real-time, personal health information (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 8/22).
About the Pilot Program
Under the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, 2,100 individual health care providers will receive payments from commercial and government payers to provide care for more than 300,000 beneficiaries.
CMS will pay a "management fee" of about $15 to $20 per beneficiary per month to participating primary care practices (Tocknell, HealthLeaders Media, 8/23).
Meanwhile, insurers outside of Medicare will participate by paying primary care practices that agree to boost beneficiaries' care (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 8/22).
How the Funds Will Be Used
The funds aim to help physicians cover the costs of:
- EHR systems;
- Extended treatment hours;
- Coordinating care;
- Engaging patients; and
- Providing individualized care for patients with several chronic diseases.
The practices are located in seven pilot locations that were designated based on the percentage of the total population covered by participating payers. The number of beneficiaries in each area ranges from about 40,500 to 51,000 (HealthLeaders Media, 8/23).