CMS Innovation Center Outlines Primary Care Strategy

Primary care in the United States is in urgent need of investment and support following decades of inadequate payments, increasingly complex delivery of care, and growing administrative burden – all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Access to primary care is associated with improved patient outcomes, increased equity, and lower mortality/higher life expectancy, at similar or lower total costs. Despite these well-documented benefits, primary care spending remains low as a proportion of total health care spending, gaps in payment between primary care and specialist care persist, and fewer people report a regular source of primary care, particularly among underserved populations.

A paper published on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Blog today presents the CMS Innovation Center’s portfolio-wide strategy and goals to strengthen the primary care infrastructure in the U.S. The strategy aims to create multiple pathways to support improved financing for advanced primary care, equitable access to high-quality primary care, and sustainable transformation to meet the needs of a diversity of practices. The paper provides an overview of the newest primary care model test – Making Care Primary (MCP), which has been designed with this strategy in mind, and outlines additional pathways the Innovation Center is exploring.

Read the blog post, The CMS Innovation Center’s Strategy to Support High-quality Primary Care.

Read the press release announcing the new Making Care Primary (MCP) Model.