Primary Care Champions: Dr. Meena Seshamani and Liz Fowler

As leaders at CMS, Meena Seshamani and Liz Fowler and their teams have worked together to advance the promise of primary care.
A still from a Zoom interview, featuring Dr. Meena Seshamani and Dr. Liz Fowler.

This month, the Primary Care Collaborative is thrilled to honor two leaders from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as its Primary Care Champions:

Dr. Meena Seshamani, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare; and Liz Fowler, Deputy Administrator and the Director of the CMS Innovation Center.

As leaders at CMS, Meena and Liz and their teams at the Center for Medicare and CMS Innovation Center have collaborated to champion thoughtful and innovative approaches to improve seniors’ access to high-quality, whole-person primary care.

“It’s so important that we have primary care doctors that are supported and able to care for people the way they want to be cared for,” said Meena in a short interview with PCC. “It’s been very important to me… to support primary care because it really serves as a cornerstone and foundation for how we want to innovate, to provide whole-person care to everybody in our country.”

Their commitment is driven by their recognition of the essential role that primary care plays in care management and prevention.

“We know that people who have access to high-quality primary care are more likely to receive preventive health services and screenings and to experience improved health outcomes related to mortality, disease progression, and chronic condition management,” said Liz in the same interview.

Under Meena and Liz’s leadership, the Center for Medicare and CMS Innovation center have worked together on myriad efforts to strengthen payment policies for primary care both in new models and in the underlying Medicare program — most recently with the launch of the ACO PC Flex hybrid payment model under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

ACO PC Flex’s launch came less than a year after PCC and 30 other health care organizations urged CMS leaders to implement a hybrid program under MSSP.

Meena cited the ongoing success of existing primary-care centered ACOs as a major motivator for developing the program, noting that primary-care led ACOs share in nearly double the savings of other ACOs.

The new payment model is designed to encourage primary care practices to participate and lead in ACOs.

“The models flexible payment design is intended to empower participating ACOs and their primary care providers to use more innovative team-based, patient-centered and proactive approaches to delivering care,” said Liz.

The PCC is grateful to Meena, Liz and the teams at the Center for Medicare and CMS Innovation Center for their ongoing commitment to advancing the promise of primary care.

Click here to learn more about the ACO PC Flex program.

Click here to watch PCC’s webinar exploring the program with CMS Innovation Director Liz Fowler.

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