Statement from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative's (PCPCC) CEO Marci Nielsen on HHS's Announcement to Expand New Medicare Payment Models

The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) goal for 30 percent of Medicare payments to be in alternative payment models by the end of 2016 and 50 percent by the end of 2018. 

HHS’s commitment to alternative payment models, like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments, as well as innovative care delivery models, like the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), signifies a positive shift in payment reform policy that moves away from the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) system.

The broad and diverse membership of the PCPCC advocates for advanced models of primary care that are critical to improving population health and quality, which are not financially sustainable using the traditional FFS payment structure. The PCMH is an ideal foundation for primary care delivery within ACOs and other alternative payment models in that the PCMH coordinates care with health providers within the medical neighborhood and prioritizes the role of the patient and their family as central.

Recent announcements about advanced primary care models, especially in multi-payer environments, have had a positive impact on Triple Aim outcomes. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released first-year results from both the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative and the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration that demonstrated reductions in health care cost and unnecessary utilization. This Friday, the PCPCC will release our annual report on the evidence from recent peer-reviewed and industry generated literature on the impact that PCMH has on health care costs, utilization, and quality -- the encouraging news will underscore the promising results associated with investing in advanced primary care.

We are encouraged by HHS’ announcement for a new "Learning and Action Network" that will accelerate the transition to more advanced payment models by fostering collaboration between HHS, private payers, large employers, providers, consumers, and state and federal partners. Since its inception in 2006, the PCPCC, has sought to create just this kind of broad and diverse collaboration and we will continue to push for advanced primary care as the key to successful advanced payment models. We anticipate participating in and supporting primary care as part of the Learning and Action Network.

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