CMS Comprehensive Primary Care initiative yields positive results, earlier than expected

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Medical practices participating in the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative showed positive quality results, readmission rates lower than the national average and high patient experience measures, according to a blog post written by Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, deputy administrator for Innovation and Quality and chief medical officer.

The agency announced the results of the first shared savings performance year for the model.

CPC practices that demonstrated high quality care and reduced spending above a threshold shared in savings generated for Medicare. 

The CPC initiative, launched in October 2012, generated $24 million in gross savings overall (excluding the CPC care management fees), according to Conway. Some 483 practices serving approximately 377,000 people with Medicare and more than 2.7 million patients overall. Four of the CPC initiative’s seven regions (Arkansas, Colorado, Cincinnati-Dayton region of Ohio and Oregon) generated gross savings. The Greater Tulsa region decreased costs in excess of the CPC care management fees, generating net savings of $10.8 million and earning more than $500,000 in shared savings payments.

Over 90 percent of CPC practices successfully met quality targets on patient experience (as determined by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys) and utilization (hospital admission and readmission) measures, indicating quality scores that matched or exceeded national comparisons, according to Conway.

"We are encouraged by the results so far and look forward to seeing the results of our independent evaluation of these practices. Our prior experience with primary care demonstrations shows that it takes time for primary care practices to build infrastructure and improve care delivery. These CPC initiative improvements came earlier than expected in a model involving significant changes in the delivery of primary care. We look forward to supporting these innovative practices in their progress as the initiative continues."