CMS reports positive shared savings results for primary care value initiative

According to a blog by Patrick Conway, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer, CMS is showing promising results for the first shared savings performance year of the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) model.  The initiative was launched in October 2012 to advance primary care by paying clinicians to deliver accessible, comprehensive and coordinated care and is part of CMS's broader effort to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

In performance year 2014, CPC practices showed positive quality results, with hospital readmissions lower than national benchmarks and high performance on patient experience measures, particularly on provider communication with patients and timely access to care. CPC practices that demonstrated high quality care and reduced spending above a threshold shared in savings generated for Medicare.

The initiative decreased Medicare Part A and Part B spending compared to spending targets while achieving high quality outcomes. The CPC initiative generated $24 million in savings excluding care management fees. These results reflect the work of 483 practices that served approximately 377,000 people with Medicare and more than 2.7 million patients overall.

According to the blog, quality highlights from the first year include:

  • Over 90 percent of CPC practices successfully met quality targets on patient experience (as determined by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys) and utilization (hospital admission and readmission) measures, indicating quality scores that matched or exceeded national comparisons.
  • All regions had lower-than-targeted hospital readmission rates. Readmissions can be burdensome to patients and caregivers and costly to the healthcare system. Lower readmissions indicate better coordination of care during transitions and patient support during the post-discharge period.
  • Patients receiving care from CPC practices scored their primary care practitioners highly, particularly on how well clinicians communicate and on getting timely access to care.