After delaying the start of a new alternative payment model for primary care physicians by one year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation released Friday the list of the participants that will begin the program at the start of 2021. The Primary Care First Model will begin in January 2021 with 916 primary care practices participating along with 37 payers. The model, first announced in April 2019, is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to expand value-based payment options in Medicare to reduce healthcare spending. The Primary Care First Model is an opportunity for primary care practices to receive bonus payments in Medicare by improving specific patient outcomes. The practices will also be on the hook for losses if they fail to meet targets. The payers that participate in the model—which includes Medicare Advantage plans, commercial health plans and state Medicaid agencies—agree to align payment and quality measurement with the CMS model. Additionally, the payers agree to share data with the agency. The model is supported by physician groups and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.
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