Focus on value spurs hospitals to invest in primary care

Doctor wearing a white lab coat talks to patient in office

As new payment models move to reward value-based care, many healthcare systems in the Minneapolis area invest in primary care to stimulate growth and prepare for future insurance contracts, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Primary care providers can help patients find treatment in more cost-efficient ways, such as visits to clinics rather than emergency rooms, and serve as an entry-point for specialty services that generate more revenue.

In the Minneapolis area, Allina Health System plans to add three new primary clinics that provide better integration of mental health and wellness services. Hennepin County Medical Center will soon open a new clinic in Minneapolis, and HealthPartners in Bloomington provides more walk-in care at its clinics, according to the article.

“We are focused on access, not just clinic growth, but better access to clinic care,” Lesa Bader, a spokeswoman for North Memorial Health Care, which has recently opened primary care clinics in downtown Minneapolis, as well as retail clinics in grocery stores, told the publication. 

Furthermore, HealthEast, a system of hospitals and clinics based in St. Paul, plans to spend approximately $16 million in the current fiscal year on primary care, including adding more doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and offering e-visits on a pilot basis as part of its long-term strategy.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is putting more emphasis on primary care in the 2017 physician fee schedule, changes that are expected to bring in about $900 million more to physicians and clinicians providing these services next year and as much as $5 billion long term for care coordination and patient-centered care.

To learn more:
- read the article


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