On Wednesday, CMS announced that 500 primary care practices were chosen to participate in a four-year pilot program to reward health care providers that better coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 8/22).
More than 2,100 individual health care providers will receive payments from commercial and government payers through the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative to provide care for more than 300,000 beneficiaries.
CMS will pay a "management fee" of about $15 to $20 monthly per beneficiary 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 ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 8/22). Participating private payers include Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.
The funds are intended to help physicians cover the costs of extended treatment hours, electronic health records, coordinating care, engaging patients and providing individualized care for patients with several chronic diseases.
CMS selected the practices based on a competitive application process that factored in several aspects, including their use of health information technology and geographic diversity.
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 40,000 to 51,000 (HealthLeaders Media, 8/23).