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You may have seen notices in our office informing you about our participation in a program called Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC Plus). We thought it would be good to explain this program and what impact this has on you as one of our patients.

The medical industry is undergoing changes in reimbursement to provide improved quality of care while controlling cost. For many years, the model for paying health care providers was fee-for-service, where the provider was paid when the patient was seen. While there is still an element of this, there is a shift toward what is referred to as value-based reimbursement. Under this model, providers are reimbursed on the quality of care that is provided. This measures quality parameters such as how well our diabetic patients are controlled, how many of our patients have gotten colon cancer screening or mammograms, and how well we do at keeping our patients out of the hospital, just to name a few.

To assist in those efforts, our office receives advance payment so we can hire staff to help track these numbers and to provide extra resources such as care coordination for our higher risk patients. CPC Plus is a Medicare pilot program to test this model over 5 years to see if this method of reimbursement will indeed lead to better quality care with lower cost. The Kansas City area was chosen as one of the areas to implement this program, and our office was selected to participate in Track 2, the most advanced of the program.

So, what does this mean for you as the patient? First, it means that we now have the means to hire staff dedicated to helping you with difficulties you may encounter with your health care. If you are identified as a higher risk patient due to your current health issues, you may be contacted periodically just to see how you are doing healthwise. We have a dedicated care manager who may be able to help with problems. Secondly, you may be contacted by our office regarding screening tests, such as colonoscopy or mammograms, that you may be due for. You may be contacted for reminders of follow-up on chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. These screening tests are things that we feel are beneficial to our patients, and by improving control of chronic health conditions, we hope to reduce complications and improve your overall quality of life. Also, we will be exploring new ways to deliver care, such as group visits, telemedicine, and other types of visits that technology might allow us to use.

We hope this provides some insight into a few of the changes in medicine and how they impact you as our patient. As always, we want our patients to be well-informed and involved in your healthcare. We feel that the changes described are positive for our patients, as they provide resources to be proactive in your care, rather than waiting until a problem occurs and reacting to it.