CMS Delays Primary Care First Until 2021

CMS has delayed the start of Primary Care First Until 2021. The program was originally scheduled to begin next year. Primary Care First is a set of voluntary five-year payment model options that “reward value and quality by offering innovative payment model structures to support delivery of advanced primary care.” Click here to read CMS’ Primary Care First Fact Sheet.

Despite the program’s name, Primary Care First will create new opportunities for many other types of providers. CMS is moving towards making healthcare a continuum with constant communication, rewards and punishments shared between different providers serving the same patient.

The application period for practices applying to begin participation in the model in January 2021 will open on October 24, 2019 and close on January 22, 2020. Practice and payer selections will take place in Winter-Spring 2020. CMS will focus on onboarding participating practices and payer partners to the model from July-December 2020.

Providers who are interested in Primary Care First can stay up to date by subscribing to the PCF Model Options listserv. CMS is also hosting an application webinar on October 30, 2019.