Applications for Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Due by July 20

CMS Announces Payers Participating in Blended Payment Project

June 14, 2012 05:30 pm News Staff

CMS recently announced that the application process is open for family physician and other primary care practices interested in participating in CMS' Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative( set to start up this summer.

According to a June 6 CMS news release(, the first step for practices interested in participating is to complete an online application prescreening tool. Practices cannot move forward in the application process until they complete the screening questionnaire.

Prescreening will help officials determine if a practice is eligible to apply to the CPC Initiative. Practices that meet the eligibility criteria then will receive an e-mail from CMS with additional information about the application process, followed by a second e-mail that will include an online link to the formal application.

The application process ends July 20.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has been tapped to oversee the four-year CPC Initiative, which ultimately will offer as many as 75 primary care practices in seven markets around the country the opportunity to increase practice revenues if they agree to offer enhanced services to patients.

The initiative, which was announced a few months ago, features a blended payment model that includes fee-for-service payments; a per-patient, per-month care coordination fee; and the opportunity for practices to share in any savings accrued.

In the same news release, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, M.A., announced that 45 public and private health insurers in the same seven markets have signed agreements with CMS to participate in the initiative. Payer interest ranged from a total of three participating payers in Oklahoma's greater Tulsa region to 10 willing payers in the Ohio and Kentucky Cincinnati-Dayton region.

Payers who have signed onto the project include high profile private health insurers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and Aetna.

"We know that when we support primary care, we get healthier patients and lower costs," said Tavenner. "This initiative shows that the public and private sectors can come together to meet the critical need for these services."