Medicaid plans test ways to transform primary care

Medicaid-focused health plans are taking steps to transform primary care to patient-centered models that will increase access to care, provide care coordination and also improve patients' experiences. The ultimate goal is to improve quality and health outcomes. A new report by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) provides a look at efforts by seven of its members.

Many of their efforts focus on elements of the medical home--a broad concept that is gaining increasing popularity. The core idea of a medical home is for every patient to have an ongoing relationship with a personal physician, who leads a team of care professionals that will meet much of a patient's health needs and coordinate care with outside providers as needed. Other hallmarks include consistent access to primary care, a focus on quality and safety, and active patient engagement in care. While medical home tools are a common, they are not the only approach to transforming primary care, ACAP notes in its report. 

Its members' efforts vary in scope and detail. For example, in Pennsylvania, Amerihealth Mercy is part of a state medical-home program for chronic care that provides extra payments to support expanded services at physician practices. In New York, Monroe Plan for Medical Care is helping primary care physicians obtain certification for excellence in diabetes care. And in California, Contra Costa Health Plan is providing case management services to help smaller practices.

For more information:
- read the report