Making Care Primary: What Family Physicians Need to Know

Making Care Primary logoIn 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center announced the launch of Making Care Primary, a model which aims to assist primary care organizations of all sizes in providing comprehensive primary care, transition to value-based payments, and improve the quality of health care and the health outcomes of patients. Washington is one of eight states selected to participate in MCP.

Making Care Primary, or MCP, is a 10.5-year model that builds on lessons from previous models involving primary care. CMMI explains MCP's overarching goal as "achiev[ing] equitable health outcomes through widely accessible high quality, affordable, person-centered care with accountability for outcomes."

Key design features of MCP include:

  • Upfront infrastructure funding for eligible organizations
  • Focus on equity, underserved populations, and social-risk adjustment in payment to participants
  • Three progressive tracks and a six-month implementation period
  • Incorporation of high-quality specialty care partnerships
  • Commitment and early engagement with state Medicaid agencies
  • Support to reach patients outside of visits and beyond the walls of the clinic

The three tracks (Building Infrastructure, Implementing Advanced Primary Care, and Optimizing Care and Partnerships) accommodate organizations no matter where they are in their adoption of value-based payments.

To participate, organizations must be Medicare-enrolled, bill for health services for at least 125 Medicare beneficiaries, and have the majority of their primary care sites in an MCP state. There are some limits to eligibility also: rural health clinics, concierge practices, current Primary Care First practices, current ACO REACH Participant Providers, and Grandfathered Tribal FQHCs are not eligible.

The window for applications is closed and will not be re-opened for the duration of the model.