Medicare announces reforms for ‘medical home’ pilot programs

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, along with Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle today announced an initiative that will allow Medicare to join Medicaid, and private insurers in state-based efforts to improve the way health care is delivered. 

According to the CMS news release, Innovative models of delivering primary care around the country are examples of the types of programs that will be part of the President’s health reform plan.  These are models that improve care for patients, give primary care providers better information about their patients and achieve greater value for the health dollars spent. The new demonstration will build on a model being tested in Vermont. Under the Vermont model, private insurers work in cooperation with Medicaid to set uniform standards for “Advanced Primary Care (APC) models” also known as medical homes. These models provide incentives for doctors to spend more time with their patients and offer better coordinated higher-quality medical care.

(SOURCES: Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, September 18, 2009; Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, http://hhs.gov, accessed September 21, 2009)