The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced the launch of its new Primary Care initiative to provide bonuses to primary care doctors for improvement of care coordination and cost efficiency.  The goal of the initiative, created under the Affordable Care Act, is to facilitate care that is focused on the patient, coordination, and higher quality.  The bonuses will be offered through commercial and state health insurance plans, and will come in the form of monthly fees above and beyond Medicare fees received for patient care.  HHS has identified five primary areas that the fees will support including personalized care plans for chronically ill patients, 24-hour access to care and health information, preventive care, patient and family participation in care, and coordination among providers.  

The initiative is based on voluntary participation as a demonstration project, and primary care physicians interested in participating must submit a Letter of Intent by November 15, 2011.  For more information on signing up or the initiative, see CMS’ website on the initiative.