• Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Primary Care Models

    Learn about the four latest payment models putting your specialty at the center of a strategy to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable, and person-centered care.

    What is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation?

    CMMI is a part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMMI was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 to test new payment and service delivery models that could improve care quality and efficiency for Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. Elevating primary care is central to the Innovation Center’s strategy.

    ACO Primary Care Flex Model

    The ACO Primary Care Flex Model (ACO PC Flex) was announced in March 2024 and is designed to implement prospective primary care payment into the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). The ACO PC Flex will launch January 1, 2025. ACO PC Flex aims to:

    • Expand access to high-quality, accountable care and improve the patient experience for people with Medicare.
    • Enhance primary care payment and spur innovative approaches to care delivery, such as team-based care that is proactive, person-centered and drives quality improvement.
    • Narrow disparities in health care outcomes.
    • Reduce program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for people in the Shared Savings Program.
    • Strengthen participation incentives for new and low revenue ACOs in the Shared Savings Program.

    Payment Design

    ACO PC Flex includes two main payment components:

    • A one-time $250,000 Advanced Shared Savings Payment to all participating ACOs.
    • A monthly prospective primary care payment (PPCP) to ACOs and their participating primary care providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), to address the medical and health-related social needs of their patients.

    Eligibility Criteria

    • ACO PC Flex will be available to up to 130 new or renewing low-revenue ACOs that complete their SSP application by June 17, 2024. 
    • ACOs will also be required to complete the ACO PC Flex application in addition to the SSP application. 
    • ACOs may not participate in PC Flex and receive the SSP Advance Investment Payments (AIP). 
    • Primary care physicians and other clinicians not affiliated with a participating ACO are ineligible to participate.

    ACO Primary Care Flex Resources



    Making Care Primary

    Announced in June 2023, the Making Care Primary (MCP) model includes three tracks that each focus on goals aimed at creating pathways to enter value-based payment. The application period is closed.

    Making Care Primary aims to:

    1. Ensure patients have access to and receive primary care that is integrated, coordinated, person-centered and accountable.
    2. Create a pathway for primary care organizations and practices – especially small, independent, rural, and safety net organizations – to enter value-based arrangements.
    3. Improve quality of care and health outcomes for patients while reducing program expenditures.

    Eligibility Criteria

    The model will be tested in eight states based on agreements with state Medicaid agencies regarding alignment around program principles and model dimensions that matter to family physicians. The eight states are Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Washington.

    Organizations ineligible to participate include rural health clinics, concierge practices, current Primary Care First (PCF) practices, current Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) Model participants, and grandfathered tribal federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Concurrent participation in MCP and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) will not be allowed after the first six months of the model.

    Program Tracks

    The model includes three tracks that each focus on specific goals. The AAFP has created profiles and a calculator to help you understand the tracks and potential revenue gains. 

    Track 1. Building Infrastructure 

    Participants work to establish a foundation for implementing advanced primary care services such as patient risk stratification, data review, workflow development, chronic disease management, and social determinants of health (SDOHs) screening and referral. Payment for primary care will remain fee-for-service (FFS)-based while CMS provides financial support to help participants develop care transformation infrastructure and build advanced care delivery capabilities. Participants begin earning financial rewards for improving patient health outcomes.

    Track 2. Implementing Advanced Primary Care 

    Participants build on Track 1 requirements by partnering with social service professionals and specialists, implementing care management services and screening for behavioral health conditions. Payment for primary care will shift to a 50/50 blend of prospective, population-based payments and FFS payments. CMS will continue some financial support for building advanced care delivery capabilities, even as participants are able to earn increased financial rewards for improving outcomes.

    Track 3. Optimizing Care and Partnerships 

    Participants begin using quality improvement frameworks to optimize and improve workflows, address silos to improve care integration, develop social services and specialty care partnerships, and deepen connections to community resources. Payment for primary care will shift to fully prospective, population-based payment while CMS continues minimal financial support to sustain care delivery activities. Participants can earn even greater financial rewards for improving patient health outcomes.

    Get More Details

    Use these profiles to learn how the tracks can benefit family medicine practices. Then, download a calculator that helps with assessing the potential financial impact of participating in MCP.

    Have More Questions About MCP?

    Watch a recorded webinar about the program, hosted by CMS, the AAFP and the ACP.

    Primary Care First

    Primary Care First (PCF) aims to provide increased flexibility to primary care physicians to support innovative care delivery approaches based on patient population needs and preferences. It is a voluntary five-year, multipayer model being tested in 26 regions. Applications to participate are currently closed.

    About PCF

    PCF alters the payment structure for primary care clinicians from traditional fee-for-service (FFS) to prospective payments with a potential bonus. Practices in model receive payments for primary care services through three mechanisms:

    • The total primary care payment (TPCP), which is made up of a risk-adjusted population-based payment (ranging from $28 to $175 per-beneficiary per-month [PBPM] based on average panel risk) and a flat visit fee (~$40) for each face-to-face primary care visit.
    • A performance-based adjustment paid quarterly, based on five quality measures and performance on acute hospital utilization. The performance-based adjustment applies to total primary care revenue and ranges from -10% to a bonus of up to 50%.
    • Standard FFS for services provided outside those covered by the flat visit fee, such as procedures and vaccines.




    ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health

    ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) began in 2021 with the aim of promoting health equity, leadership and more. This model is currently being tested and is not accepting applications for participation.

    About ACO REACH

    The ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) Model has three key aims:

    1. Advance health equity to bring the benefits of accountable care to underserved communities
    2. Promote provider leadership and governance
    3. Protect beneficiaries and the model with more participant vetting, monitoring, and greater transparency

    ACO REACH (previously call the Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model) is a five-year voluntary model that began in April 2021 and includes two voluntary risk-sharing options. In each option, participating providers accept Medicare claims reductions and receive at least some of their compensation from their ACO.

    The two participation options are:

    1. Professional – Includes monthly risk-adjusted primary care capitation payment for enhanced primary care services and 50% shared savings/losses.
    2. Global - Includes monthly risk-adjusted primary care capitation payment for enhanced primary care services OR a monthly risk-adjusted total care capitation payment for all services provided by the direct contracting (DC) entity and preferred providers with whom the DC entity has an agreement and 100% savings/losses.


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