WellPoint Announces Health Plans’ Primary Care Practices to Participate in Historic Public-Private Partnership

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced today that physicians working with four of its affiliated health plans have been selected to participate in a groundbreaking initiative to advance primary care and improve the accessibility and affordability of quality health care through a partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS has selected 500 primary care practices in seven regions to participate in its Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative, a new partnership between payers including CMS, state Medicaid agencies, commercial health plans and self-insured businesses, and primary care providers. The partnership is designed to promote improved access to quality health care at lower costs. WellPoint is working with nearly 900 providers selected to participate in the partnership across its affiliated health plans in Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio and New York.

Through the CPC program, CMS will pay primary care practices a care management fee, initially set at an average of $20 per beneficiary per month, to support enhanced, coordinated services on behalf of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Simultaneously, participating commercial, state, and other federal insurance plans are also offering enhanced payment to primary care practices that are designed to support them in providing high-quality primary care on behalf of their members.

“WellPoint and CMS are aligned in our commitment to help improve the accessibility and affordability of quality health care for Americans, and we believe the CPC initiative represents a significant means by which we will achieve this,” said Dr. Harlan Levine, executive vice president of Comprehensive Health Solutions for WellPoint. “Primary care is the foundation of good medicine, and it should be the foundation for patient health. We are pleased that many of the physicians who participate with our health plans have been chosen for this pioneering initiative that will help improve care and reduce unnecessary costs.”

For patients, the CPC initiative means participating physicians are encouraged to offer longer and more flexible hours; use electronic health records; coordinate care with patients’ other health care providers; better engage patients and caregivers in managing their own care; and provide individualized, enhanced care for patients living with multiple chronic diseases and higher needs.

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