The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) has launched the Center for Accountable Care, an entity designed to ensure that a strong, robust, patient-centered primary care model is at the foundation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) nationwide, and that programs and policies related to ACOs help to maintain this focus.
Based on a survey of the PCPCC membership, the Center will focus on identifying and recommending regulations and policies to advance the success of ACOs with a strong Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) foundation; identifying and sharing best practices around the establishment of PCMH-centered ACOs; and educating and advocating its policy recommendations to multiple stakeholders. The latter group will include federal officials, governors, other state officials, advocacy/consumer organizations, and representatives of the media. The PCPCC itself is a coalition of more than 700 major employers, consumer groups, organizations representing primary care physicians, and other stakeholders that have joined together to advance the PCMH concept based on the belief that its implementation would yield significant improvement in the health of patients and the healthcare delivery system as a whole. Initiatives and projects undertaken by the PCPCC are structured under the umbrella of individual Centers that leverage the collective expertise of their respective constituents. Each Center has a stated mission and a set of goals, tasks, and timeframes for deliverables aimed at bringing PCMHs to fruition.
"Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has provided an opportunity for health care organizations to structure ACOs, but many questions remain about the role of the medical home within these new payment models," says Edwina Rogers, PCPCC's executive director. "This new Center will serve as a guide to help healthcare leaders establish primary care and the medical home role firmly within the ACO."
A group of individuals with diverse expertise and perspectives, among them Blair Childs; Ted Epperly, MD; Dana Safran, Sc.D.; and Craig Sammit, MD, M.B.A., will serve as co-chairs of the Center. Childs is senior vice president of public affairs for the Premier Healthcare Alliance. Epperly serves as program director and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and as clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also past president and board chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Safran is senior vice president for performance measurement and improvement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and also serves associate professor of medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine. Sammit is CEO for Dean Health System in Madison, Wis., one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in the country.
"The Center for Accountable Care will help build consensus among a wide variety of stakeholders regarding regulations and strategies to advance a more integrated, coordinated and accountable health care structure," Childs asserts.
Sammit agrees. "There is an imperative for the healthcare industry to evolve from an uncoordinated, volume-based, inefficient system to one that is accountable, reliable, patient-centered, and value-based,” he asserts. “Redesigning and reinvigorating our primary care model will be a critical driver of delivering better care at a lower cost, and the PCPCC's Center for Accountable Care will play a critical role in this transformation."