Optimism and Commitment Continue for Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative

March 12, 2015

In early March, the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative was the focus of several meetings held in Baltimore, Maryland.march2015_3

On March 3, CMS’s Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (the Innovation Center) held its annual Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative conference. About 250 people attended the daylong event, including participating primary care practices, commercial and public insurers, initiative faculty, evaluators, and other stakeholders. Attendees heard about the project’s progress from Patrick Conway, CMS Innovation Center Director, Karen Jackson, CMS Innovation Center Deputy Director, CPC leaders Laura Sessums and Edith Stowe, and the Mathematica Policy Research team, which has conducted an independent evaluation of CPC.

Panels of CPC-participating payers and providers and numerous breakout sessions addressed the primary care-related reforms of the initiative, using the experience thus far to address the future. Plan evaluations were consistent with CPC findings—the projects were moving in the right direction, with modest and preliminary positive results.

The Milbank Memorial Fund, whose Multi-State Collaborative (MC) includes projects in the CPC, convened two meetings scheduled around the CMS event.

On March 2, conveners of regional CPC projects heard from leaders of the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) demonstrations about the strategies employed to create strong and sustainable local governance, a hallmark of these more experienced Innovation Center programs. On March 4, a group of CPC-participating payers met, representing small and large commercial plans, local and national organizations, and State Human Services and Medicaid officials.

“I was struck by the similarities between the concerns across payers and project implementers”, says Lisa Dulsky Watkins, MC Director. “There was a consensus of optimism and increased commitment to the clinical practices that have worked so hard to achieve improvements in the way they deliver care.”