CMS primary care initiative meeting quality, savings goals

The second year of results from CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative were largely positive, according to the agency, with 95 percent of participating practices meeting quality requirements and generating $57.7 million in gross savings.

In 2015, the second year of shared savings performance, 481 practices participated in CPC, serving more than 376,000 Medicare beneficiaries, according to CMS. In addition to the gross savings and quality results, four of the seven participating regions shared in savings with the agency.

“As the largest test of advanced primary care in U.S. history, CPC demonstrates the potential of primary care clinicians redesigning their practices to deliver better care to their patients, and provides clinicians support to innovate and deliver care in ways that better meet their patients’ needs and preferences,” CMS Principal Deputy Administrator and CMO Patrick Conway, MD, said in a blog post.

The results were an improvement on the first performance year, when 483 practices generated $24 million in gross savings and 90 percent of participants met quality-of-care targets.

The 2015 were “essentially equivalent to the $58 million paid in care management fees to the practices.” The shared savings will go to the four regions that realized net savings after accounting for those fees: Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The savings generated in those areas were enough to cover the net losses in the remaining CPC regions.

On quality, CPC participants were given high patient satisfaction scores. Some 99 percent of practices exceeded national benchmarks on colorectal cancer screening and flu vaccination, and 100 percent surpassed benchmarks on clinical depression screenings.

Practices also performed well in the first year of using electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) within the electronic health record, “allowing practices to engage in real-time quality improvement efforts that drive population health.” CMS said 97 percent of CPC practices successfully reported nine eCQMs.

John Gregory, Senior Writer

John joined TriMed in 2016, focusing on healthcare policy and regulation. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago, he worked at FM News Chicago and Rivet News Radio, and worked on the state government and politics beat for the Illinois Radio Network. Outside of work, you may find him adding to his never-ending graphic novel collection.

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