By: Betsy, Peerless, MD, Cincinnati, OH
One of my friends, a primary care physician who works at a competing system, recently asked me if the additional time and effort required to apply for the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) program justifies the benefit for the office and the patient. The answer is unquestionably yes. CPC+ provides an excellent opportunity that will support three critical areas of practice—transformation, innovation, and preparation and practice.
Primary care is suffering, millions of Americans are newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts a shortage of primary care physicians as great as 20,000 by the year 2020. The greatest gaps in public health are in primary care. Primary care is an essential specialty that must be revitalized to recruit and retain physicians in this fulfilling career.
What would it take to adopt a new model of practice designed around patient’s needs and delivered by care teams that were not stifled by current constraints?
By now you are probably thinking: “Blah blah blah, she is talking about the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), more clicks, and little value added to the patient.” Am I right? Well, no, I’m talking about PCMH on steroids—true population management with ample resources to achieve effective care coordination. This proactive approach of providing care will reduce the likelihood of costly hospitalizations and result in better patient health care outcomes.
Preparation and Practice
For our new reality named “value-based care,” it is imperative that physicians and other health care professionals become proficient at managing costs, but this must be coupled with providing actual cost data. The rising health care costs in this country are not sustainable. Sadly, the baby boomers are experiencing this challenge already—if you are one of them, as a consumer you know what I’m talking about. With the current trajectory, it is only going to get worse…if we don’t act. We have a moral obligation and professional responsibility to make this model work for our profession, our families, our communities, and most importantly, our patients. It is vital that as physicians and other health care professionals we unite to move this effort forward for the betterment of all involved. In this work we are not health care competitors, but allies.
My practice has had the privilege to participate in the CPC classic initiative. We applied for this initiative because we saw it as a unique opportunity that would afford us the opportunity to provide better care and dream of creating better processes to provide the excellent care that our patients deserve. We would like to continue our efforts as a participant with the CPC+.
Changing the delivery of health care practice is complex. Therefore, four years of implementation has not been long enough to provide an accurate picture of the change in outcomes. We have improved, but we still have work to do.
This is an earnest plea to all family physicians and other primary care physicians in Ohio to join me and the other CPC classic physicians to participate in the CPC+ program. Together, we can change the course of health care and truly impact the health and quality of life of our communities.
We have an opportunity through CPC+ to make a major difference to change history, for ourselves and for the next generation of primary care physicians to stop the ever-so-popular “physician burnout.”
Let’s enhance our profession and most importantly ignite our passion for why we went to medical school—to serve our patients the best way possible.
The deadline to submit an application for the CPC+ program is Thursday, September 15! Start preparing your application today with the CMS checklist and a step-by-step document created by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
In addition, the AAFP has collaborated with Caravan Health to provide you with free technical assistance and help with your CPC+ application. Contact Kristen Stine or call 800.274.2237 ext. 4161 to see if your practice qualifies!