This is my second blog post.
Oberlin Internal Medicine Associates was notified by CMS last week that the practice has been approved for the new Comprehensive Primary Care Plus initiative starting January 2017. The new selective initiative is based on CMS’ goal of transforming medical care from traditional fee for service care, in which doctors are paid more for seeing more patients and performing more procedures, to a system in which doctors are held accountable for improved care and outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, and lower overall cost. These goals will create value for all.
Central to the program is the ability to measure and report quality measures like diabetic and blood pressure control; and document acceptable rates of mammograms, colon cancer screenings and immunizations. The premise is that by taking better care of patients, there will be fewer costly emergency visits and hospitalizations. Integral to this will be improved access to the practice. An electronic medical record with a patient portal is essential to the program, and the practice has been using eClinicalWorks since 2006. Many patients are already using the portal to send messages, make online appointments, review lab results and request medication refills. Like the managed care programs of the past, Medicare will pay the practice prospectively, based on members’ health risk scores. The extra money can be used to reach out to patients between office visits, provide additional counseling and wellness initiatives and fund new initiatives like telehealth visits, continuous glucose monitoring and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
The new program is rigorous and will require quarterly reporting. It also requires a Patient Advisory Council to be set up, in which patients of the practice can help set goals and help the practice reach out to all the population served. If successful, practice and patients will benefit.
I hope you are all as excited as we are to have been selected for this innovative new program. We will need to work together to make it successful. I am looking forward to it.