THE VIEW FROM HERE: Transforming Primary Care: The March Continues

Christopher F. Koller, President of the Milbank Memorial Fund


Improving population health by building more and better primary care in the United States might be considered an exercise in what a nun I once met called, "the theology of the long haul." I am not sure we have God on our side here, but we do have evidence—much of it published in The Milbank Quarterly by research titans like Barbara Starfield. The evidence is clear—the foundation of any high performing health care system is high quality, easily accessible primary care.

Consistent with its mission of improving population health by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best evidence and experience, the Fund continues to lead in the field of primary care transformation. And sometimes there are signs that its faith may be well placed; the last month has been a good one for advocates of primary care.

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New CMS Center for Innovation Reports Show Accomplishments of Multi-Payer Primary Care Transformation

In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Innovation released two new reports, one evaluating the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) demonstration and the other the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative. The reports were the first released by CMS on progress made in the first year of these primary care projects. While both evaluation reports capture only the very early experience of the innovations, they reveal encouraging observations and trends.

The preliminary findings are good news for the Fund—and its Multi-State Collaborative, a group of state leaders engaged in multi-payer primary care transformation.

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New Report: PCMH Improves Care, Reduces Costs


A new report released by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) with support from the Milbank Memorial Fund provides new evidence that the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) improves care and reduces costs. The third annual Milbank-funded report analyzes new evidence from primary care PCMH initiative taking place in both public and private markets throughout the U.S.

The publication includes an aggregation of PCMH outcomes from a combination of 28 peer-reviewed studies, state government program evaluations, and industry reports, the largest number of PCMH evaluations in a single year.

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New Report: Engaging Self-Insured Employers in Multi-Payer Reform

The Milbank Memorial Fund and the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) released a new report about multi-payer efforts in Arkansas, Minnesota, Oregon, and Vermont, states that are at the forefront of efforts to coordinate value-based payment approaches across multiple public and private payers. The report, "All Aboard: Engaging Self-Insured Employers in Multi-Payer Reform," takes a careful look at the extent to which self-insured employers are participating.

While each state has had success in moving toward more coordinated action across payers, particularly for primary care services, recruitment of employers with self-insured plans remains a challenge. The findings and recommendations of this report can help stakeholders address employer recruitment challenges in future multi-payer work.

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Upcoming Webinar: Integrating Primary Care into Behavioral Health Settings

Join us on February 26, 2015 at 1 pm (EST) for a Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC)-supported webinar focused on the recently released Milbank Memorial Fund-Reforming States Group report on behavioral health integration for individuals with serious mental illness. The webinar features report author Martha Gerrity, MD, MPH, PhD, Clinical Epidemiologist at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University.

The report identifies and evaluates the evidence for behavioral health integration models that show promise. Dr. Gerrity will describe key implementation areas that are important for successful implementation—and will explain the role policymakers can play in improving health care delivery to better serve people living with serious mental illness.

Register here


About the Milbank Memorial Fund

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. Founded in 1905, the Fund engages in nonpartisan analysis, collaboration, and communication on significant issues in health policy. It does this work in three ways: publishing high-quality, evidence-based reports, books, and The Milbank Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal of population health and health policy; convening state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important; and building communities of health policymakers to enhance their effectiveness.

Milbank Memorial Fund | 645 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor | New York, NY 10022 | Tel: 212-355-8400 | Fax: 212-355-8599

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