CMS is Looking for a Few Good Advanced Primary Care Practices

CMS is pushing ahead with “Primary Care First” – a voluntary, five-year alternative payment model to reduce Medicare spending by preventing avoidable inpatient hospital admissions, and improve quality and access to care, particularly for those with complex chronic conditions and serious illness. Last week the Primary Care First Request for Applications went live.
Primary Care First is similar to the existing CMS model, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+). But while CPC+ is designed for primary care practices at different stages of readiness to assume accountability for patient outcomes, Primary Care First is geared toward advanced primary care practices that are ready to accept financial risk in exchange for greater flexibility, increased transparency, and performance-based payments that reward participants for outcomes. In Primary Care First, CMS will provide payments that are higher than historical Medicare fee-for-service payments, in the aggregate, for participating practices that care for complex, chronically ill patients. It will be tested over six performance years, with two staggered cohorts of participating practices, each participating for five performance years; one cohort will participate in the model from 2021 through 2025 and a second will participate from 2022 through 2026. Visit the Primary Care First website for more information.