Doctors and nurses in the Greater Buffalo area of New York welcomed the recent news that the government will expand its Medicare pilot primary care program into the area.
The Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model is expected to give many Buffalo-area medical practices a financial boost, provide patients with greater access to healthcare and even eventually help ease the region’s physician shortage, proponents of the program told The Buffalo News.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the expansion of the CPC+ program, an advanced primary care medical home model, to include three additional states—Louisiana, Nebraska and North Dakota—as well as Erie and Niagara counties in western New York.
Insurance executives who pushed for the program told the newspaper the program will likely pump hundreds of millions of dollars into participating local medical practices. CMS is now accepting applications and expects to select up to 1,000 practices in the four new areas to participate in the second round of the CPC+ program.
"The good news is this is all money that is flowing directly to primary care practices. This will help some physicians to stay on in practice a little longer," Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO of Independent Health, which teamed with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York to push for the program expansion, told the publication.
The program takes medical practices away from the traditional fee-for-service model and instead rewards value and quality by offering an innovative payment structure to support primary care practices.
Fuad Sheriff, M.D., a partner in Amherst Medical Group in Amherst, New York, said the five-physician practice plans to apply. Practices that serve more than 125 traditional Medicare patients are eligible.
Proponents hope the five-year experimental program will draw new physicians and encourage them to open practices in the area to serve Medicare recipients.