The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Monday announced a new Affordable Care Act (ACA) initiative that will spend an estimated $42 million over three years for a project to coordinate care for Medicare patients.
The demonstration project, operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) will provide funding to up to 500 Federally Qualified Health Center Advanced Primary Care Practice facilities (FQHC APCP) to coordinate care for up to 195,000 Medicare patients.
The project will test the effectiveness of doctors and other providers working in teams to improve care in the FQHC facilities, also referred to as “medical homes.” The project will demonstrate how the medical homes model can improve care quality, promote better health and contain costs.
Participating FQHCs are expected to help patients manage chronic conditions, as well as actively coordinate care for patients. The FQHC facilities will be paid a monthly care management fee for each eligible Medicare beneficiary receiving primary care services. In return, FQHCs agree to adopt care coordination practices that are recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). CMS and HRSA will provide technical assistance to help FQHCs achieve these goals.
“FQHCs provide essential primary care services to seniors and others in underserved communities,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick. “This project will go a long way toward creating comprehensive and coordinated healthcare opportunities for the many people with Medicare who rely on FQHCs as their primary medical providers.”