CMS accepting applications for primary care payment models

CMS is accepting applications from primary care physician practices, health systems and other organizations interested in participating in Direct Contracting, which offers two voluntary payment model options.

The application deadline for organizations interested in the implementation period is Feb. 25. CMS said the implementation period in 2020 will give organizations time to align beneficiaries to meet the minimum beneficiary requirements under the payment models. Organizations not interested in the implementation period can apply in Spring 2020. For both application processes, Direct Contracting's Professional and Global payment options will have five performance years starting January 2021.

The Direct Contracting Professional and Global payment model options are part of the CMS Primary Cares Initiative that will provide five new payment model options under two models: Primary Care First and Direct Contracting. CMS released the Primary Care First request for applications on Oct. 24.

CMS said the new payment model options aim to reduce Medicare spending and improve care quality and health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with complex, chronic conditions and serious illness.

Direct Contracting targets larger practices, health systems and other organizations that have experience with risk-based contracts and seek new opportunities to enter into value-based care arrangements, organizations that focus on the care of chronically ill and seriously ill patients, and organizations that have experience serving similar populations as Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries but have not been able to participate in existing models because of size restrictions.

Read more about the Direct Contracting model here.


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