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Statement From Internists on Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Initiative

Attributable to:
Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP
President, American College of Physicians
(ACP)

April 11, 2016

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a major initiative, called the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) program, to support the advanced primary care medical home model of health care delivery.  ACP believes that CPC+ offers the potential of greatly strengthening the ability of internists and other primary care clinicians, in thousands of practices nationwide, to deliver high value, high performing, effective, and accessible primary care to millions of their patients. 

In particular, the College:

  • Is encouraged that physicians and their practices will be offered two different tracks to participate in CPC+, with different care delivery requirements and payment methodologies that reflect the diversity in primary care practices. 
  • Strongly supports the goal of ensuring that practices in each track will be able to build capabilities and care processes to deliver better care, which will result in a healthier patient population.
  • Agrees with the need for payment redesign that offers the ability for greater cash flow and flexibility for primary care practices to deliver high quality, whole-person, patient-centered care and lower the use of unnecessary services that drive total costs of care.
  • Supports the critical importance of obtaining commitments from other (non-Medicare) payers to join with Medicare to support CPC+ practices.
  • Is encouraged that CPC+ will provide practices with a robust learning system, as well as actionable patient-level cost and utilization data, to guide their decision making.

The Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program is based on the successes and lessons learned from the current Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCi), which has been limited to approximately 500 practices in seven market areas.  ACP has urged CMS to expand the CPCi to practices nationwide. Today’s announcement means that as many as 5,000 practices nationwide may now become eligible under this new CPC+ program.

The success of the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program will depend on Medicare and other payers providing physicians and their practices with the sustained financial support needed for them to meet the goal of providing comprehensive, high value, accessible, and patient-centered care, with realistic and achievable ways to assess each practices’ impact on patient care.  The College is committed to working with CMS on the details of implementation to ensure that the program is truly able to meet such requirements of success.

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The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 143,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact:
David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554
dkinsman@acponline.org