AAFP Statement: Announcement of Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Regions An Important Step Toward Building Patient Access to High-Quality Care

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Glen Stream, MD, MBI
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians welcomes the announcement that CMS has chosen seven markets — the states of Arkansas; Colorado; New Jersey; and Oregon; the Capital District-Hudson Valley region of New York; the Cincinnati-Dayton region of Ohio; and the greater Tulsa region of Oklahoma — to launch the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative. We encourage family physicians in these regions to apply for participation in this initiative once CMS releases a solicitation notice to primary care practices in these areas.

“The CPCI partners CMS with private sector insurers to build and expand patient-centered medical home services. Its blended payment of fee-for-service, per-patient-per-month care coordination fee, and shared savings will enable participating primary care practices to build and expand PCMH services with funds to invest in electronic health record technology and redesigned medical offices. The care management fee provides payment for previously uncompensated time for communication with patients, consultants, hospitals and other community resources.

“This initiative is key to demonstrating the economic efficacy of care management fees for both Medicare beneficiaries and privately insured patients. By encouraging private sector insurers to align their payments systems with the CPCI, this effort will enable patients of all ages to receive the comprehensive, coordinated care that is the foundation of the patient-centered medical home: diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses, preventive services and management of chronic illnesses. As a result, these patients avoid hospitalizations and emergency department visits, have fewer and less intense treatments, see lower costs and experience a better quality of life.

“The American Academy of Family Physicians welcomes the CPCI and the progress it brings toward ensuring that all Americans have a patient-centered medical home.”

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 120,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions, and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, familydoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).