CMS announced in an August 22, 2012 press release that it had selected 500 primary care practices to participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (the “Initiative”), a four-year initiative administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation aimed at fostering a partnership among CMS, state Medicaid agencies, commercial health plans, self-insured businesses and primary care providers to strengthen primary care. Under the Initiative, CMS will pay primary care practices a care management fee to support enhanced care coordination, and participating commercial, state and other federal insurance plans would offer enhanced payment to primary care practices to support the practices in providing high quality care. CMS estimates that over 300,000 Medicare beneficiaries will be served by over 2,000 providers through the Initiative.
The Initiative began in September 2011 when CMS issued a request for participation. Public and private health plans in seven regions signed letters of intent to participate, and markets were selected in April 2012 based on the percentage of the total population covered by payers who expressed interest in participating in the Initiative. According to CMS, eligible primary care practices in each market were invited to apply, and practices were chosen based on their use of health information technology, ability to demonstrate recognition of advanced primary care delivery by leading clinical societies, service to patients covered by participating payers, participation in practice transformation and improvement activities, and diversity of geography, practice size and ownership structure.