PCC Spring 2022 Newsletter


In This Issue

Click on a link below to be taken to that article.

Message from the President & CEO
PCC Launches New Campaign
Policy & Advocacy Update
Executive Member Spotlight: PCDC
Primary Care Champion: Mai Pham
Research Happenings in PCC
Surgeon General Seeks Research and Stories on COVID-19 Misinformation
AHRQ Announces Primary Care Research Funding
PCC Webinars
New Articles, Research & Resources
Upcoming Conferences, Webinars & Events
Become a PCC Member

Message from
Ann Greiner,
President & CEO

Dear Colleagues,

March has seen many activities focused on evolving and implementing the recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) report - Implementing High-Quality Primary Care: Rebuilding the Foundation of Health Care. It is remarkable that nearly a year later, this report continues to have such strong salience in our community. 
For our part, the PCC was excited to launch a major, related public effort. On Tuesday, we introduced our Better Health – Now campaign to strengthen primary care in all communities through greater investment and better ways to pay for better health. The campaign will focus on moving the NASEM report’s payment recommendations from paper to policy and already has broad support among PCC members. Read more about the campaign below.
Before the launch, we initiated a series of educational webinars that relate to the campaign. In case you missed them, you can read about them and link to the recordings below. Watch for announcements for future PCC webinars related to the campaign.
We are grateful to The Commonwealth Fund and the Samueli Foundation for their support of these PCC activities.
The week before our launch, NASEM hosted a webinar kicked off by Assistant Secretary of HHS Rachel L. Levine, MD, to introduce the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care (watch the recordings and get the meeting materials). This new initiative is a direct response to the findings and recommendations laid out in the NASEM report and is led by Judith Steinberg, MD, MPH. The PCC is eagerly awaiting her plan to be presented to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for his review in June.
In the meantime, the Milbank Memorial Fund has continued its work developing a National Primary Care Implementation Scorecard that is intended to assess progress on implementing high-quality primary care and to create policymaker accountability for achieving the recommendations of the NASEM report. Milbank and The Physicians Foundation are partnering with the Robert Graham Center on developing the scorecard. The first report and data visualization will be published in January 2023.
Spring is a time of growth and renewal, and we hope that’s true for primary care. We hope all of these new efforts and energy directed at re-imaging primary care bear fruit!

PCC Launches Campaign to Help Patients Benefit from More Community-Based Primary Care

The PCC launched the Better Health – Now campaign in a March 29 online event. This initiative aims to pivot health care to community-based primary care that furthers better health. A majority (34) of the PCC’s diverse member organizations have signed on to the campaign, with others expected.  
Campaign participants believe there is nothing more important to individuals than their health. Many Americans rely on a primary care professional to partner with them and their families on the path to healthier, more fulfilling lives. The organizations that are part of the campaign believe the U.S. needs strong primary care in every community so all Americans have better access to health. Better Health – Now presents a way to make this vision a reality.
The launch featured leaders of the PCC and the broader primary care community who spoke about primary care from various perspectives. These included: 
  • Asaf Bitton, Ariadne Labs
  • Mark Del Monte, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Rebecca Etz, Larry A. Green Center
  • Emily M. Godfrey, University of Washington clinics, Seattle
  • Ann Greiner, Primary Care Collaborative
  • Arturo Martinez-Guijosa, patient advocate, Seattle
The PCC expects to announce its support of specific legislation or regulations later in the campaign.
“The time is ripe to bring primary care access to communities that have been left behind and to provide whole-person care so that the needs of patients can be addressed more comprehensively,” said Ann Greiner, MCP, PCC’s President & CEO.
“This campaign urges federal and state policymakers to take action on longstanding health inequities that the COVID-19 pandemic intensified by investing in primary care,” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, JD, Vice President for Health Justice, National Partnership for Women and Families, and a PCC board member. “Every single person in our country should have the opportunity to live a healthy life.”
The campaign will be calling on policymakers and decision makers to:
  • Invest in what works: primary care
  • Pivot government and private insurance to join us in this effort
  • Offer more healthcare options in communities (rural, urban, diverse) 
At the launch the PCC also publicly announced the organizations—members of the PCC and several others—that have joined the campaign as signatories to a set of principles laid out in PCC’s Concordance Recommendations for Primary Care Payment and Investment. These recommendations will serve as the guiding principles of the campaign and are derived from a landmark 2021 report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Implementing High-Quality Primary Care.
Recording of the online launch of Better Health - Now

Want your organization to engage in Better Health - Now?

The PCC welcomes organizations in the primary care or broader healthcare community to join the campaign, either as a PCC Executive Member (see information on how to join) or as a non-member supporter of the campaign.

How to become a Campaign Participant or Supporter

Mental Health and Addiction Get Attention from Policymakers and PCC

Federal policymakers are increasingly focusing on mental health and addiction policy, including the importance of integrating behavioral health services into primary care.
The administration’s proposed FY 2023 budget featured legislative proposals to broaden Medicare mental health benefits, bolster Medicaid behavioral health payment, and invest more in a range of federal programs. Building on a series of hearings, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are working on bipartisan legislative packages for possible action later this year.
In meetings this month, PCC’s President and CEO, Ann Greiner, PCC staff, and leaders from the PCC Behavioral Health Integration Workgroup opened a dialogue with senior staff in the Office of Health and Human Services, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and leadership from across the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In the discussions, PCC heard a loud and clear recognition of the importance of primary care from the administration. PCC will continue to advance its recommendations and lift up primary care as central to any effective response to the mental health crisis.

CMS Issues RFI on Medicaid Access and Enrollment

PCC to Offer Comment
As part of the administration’s work to advance health equity and reduce health disparities, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking feedback on topics related to healthcare access, such as enrolling in and maintaining coverage, accessing healthcare services and supports, and ensuring adequate provider payment rates to encourage provider availability and quality.
The public comment period is open for 60 days from Feb. 17, 2022, through April 18, 2022. PCC will be responding to the Request for Information (RFI). Review the specific questions included in the RFI

Budget and Appropriations Update

Primary Care Research Advocates Win $2 Million for Primary Care Research
On March 15, the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2471) was signed by President Biden. An explanatory statement released by the House Rules Committee accompanying the appropriations bill designated $2 million for the Center for Primary Care Research at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Advocates have worked on increasing federal primary care research funding since 2018, and although the final appropriation is less than the originally requested $5 million, this is still a victory for primary care research stakeholders.

Biden Administration’s 2023 Budget Proposal Strengthens Primary Care

The Biden administration has requested roughly $127 billion to fund HHS for fiscal year 2023, a 15% increase from 2022 levels. Some of the primary care provisions of the budget proposal include:
  • $10 million for AHRQ’s Center for Primary Care Research
  • Improving access to behavioral health services and primary care services by requiring coverage of three behavioral health visits and three primary care visits without cost sharing.
  • Establishing a new $7.5 billion Mental Health System Transformation Fund to increase access to mental health services, including the integration of quality mental health and substance use care into primary care settings.
  • Establishing a Medicare benefit category for licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists that authorizes direct billing and payment under Medicare for these practitioners. 

Employer Strategies to Drive Health, Equity and Value

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers Coalition, a PCC Executive Member, released a report and action brief on employer strategies that drive health, equity, and value. It provides a fresh look at addressing social needs and social determinants of the workforce.
The report and action brief can be found here.

State Legislative Update

This spring, state-level primary care investment legislation is on the move in state legislatures across the country.
To date this year, two primary care investment bills have been signed into law:
  • Utah’s HB 210, requiring an annual report on primary care spending in the state
  • Washington state’s SB 5589, which charges the state’s Health Care Cost Transparency Board with measuring and reporting on primary care expenditures and establishing a yearly primary care spending target that would eventually reach 12% of total healthcare expenditures. 
Additional statehouses are poised to add to the growing momentum before sessions wrap later this year. Maryland’s SB 734 has passed the Senate and is now before the House. California’s primary care advocates are hoping for action in the Senate after the Assembly passed AB 1130 last year. New York's S. 6534 is awaiting a Senate floor vote.
Primary care measurement and/or investment bills have also been introduced in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska and Vermont. Currently 13 states have already measured or committed to measure primary care spending in their state.
This is a regular feature of PCC’s monthly enewsletter. We focus on a different Executive Member of PCC every month and spotlight some of the current campaigns, initiatives or work in primary care that they’re implementing.

Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) has been a PCC Executive Member since October 2013. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1993 to respond to New York City’s bleak primary care landscape, with overcrowded health centers and limited primary care in poor and minority communities. Traditional banks were wary of lending money to practices that lacked solid financial footing.
With an initial $17 million from the city, PCDC was created to finance culturally competent, high-quality care for underserved communities. Today, PCDC applies its expertise nationally in all aspects of primary care, from financing to delivery, to find new and innovative ways to enhance care.
  • provides loans to practices as a U.S. Treasury-certified community development financial institution,
  • provides technical assistance. PCDC partners with practices to improve their services and outcomes.
  • promotes policies. PCDC develops and executes policy initiatives to bring resources, attention, and innovation to primary care at local, state, and federal levels of government. 
Since 1993, PCDC has supported primary care practices and clinicians in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories. Its work has touched over 56 million patients through more than 1,000 patient-centered medical home sites and 5,000 nationally assisted sites, totaling more than $1.3 billion invested in low-income communities.
With a strong presence in New York, PCDC  is currently pushing a bill focused on reporting spending in primary care. PCDC also has legislation pending on a loan program to invest more in primary care in the state.

I Am a Primary Care Champion

This is a regular feature of PCC’s newsletter. Each issue features a short profile of an individual who works in primary care. It is a way of recognizing the dedication and passion that clinicians, advocates, and others have for primary care and connecting readers of this newsletter to people like them.

Hoangmai Pham

President and CEO, Institute for Exceptional Care

Why are you passionate about primary care?
I started my career as a primary care physician in underserved communities – North Philadelphia, Washington Heights in New York City, and East Baltimore. I also have a child with special needs and an elderly parent. So I have a deep appreciation of what primary care at its best can do to improve people’s lives, especially for people with complex life and clinical challenges. Integrating all those considerations into goals and care plans that solve problems is neither art nor a check-list exercise. It demands deep knowledge and intellectual heft, empathy, and the skill to steer people and resources. I still believe it’s the most gratifying clinical path to travel on.
If you had a magic wand that you could wave to change one thing in primary care, what would it be?
I would offer every primary care clinician better-than-average resources (teammates, tools, income) on a predictable basis so they could stop worrying about administrative and financial survival and just focus on what their patients need.
What one thing about your work do you want people working outside primary care to know or understand?
I used to think that advocating to transform health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which is the focus of Institute for Exceptional Care, is somehow distinct from other health policy work. Now I thoroughly understand the universalism of keeping front and center the needs of the most vulnerable populations, because when we design health systems to meet their complex needs – like more flexible communication options, more connectedness to home-and-community-based services, etc. – we’ll have designed health systems that serve everyone better. We will all be disabled at some point in our lives. This is a truth that primary care clinicians intuit. If I diligently use plain language in educating patients, all my patients will benefit. If I allow caregivers into an exam room and leverage their expertise, all my patients will benefit.
Looking back on your career, what’s the most significant contribution to primary care that you or your team have made?
I would say first, the research that I did quantifying how fragmented care patterns are in the U.S., showing that the average clinician shares his or her patients with hundreds of other clinicians, which paints a realistic picture of the burden of care coordination that clinicians shoulder. And second, the privilege I had of being the architect of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ early value-based payment programs and our deliberate decision to place primary care at the center as the clinical foundation in many of those models. But probably I’m most excited about what I’m working on now, to expand our expectations for primary care to drive the production of community health and the erasure of health disparities.

Research Happenings in PCC

New Newsletter

If you would like to keep up to date on important primary care research and learn more about PCC’s efforts to disseminate primary care research to stakeholders through Lunch and Learn discussions, provide your contact information to receive PCC’s new Research Newsletter.
Subscribe to the research newsletter
April 21, 2022
11:00 a.m.-12 p.m. ET

Surgeon General Seeks Research and Stories on COVID-19 Misinformation

The U.S. Surgeon General is especially interested in hearing healthcare workers’ stories of how health misinformation has affected them during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so primary care clinicians are encouraged to respond.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Announces Primary Care
Research Funding

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a Special Emphasis Notice to receive health services research grant applications to advance the science of primary care. The agency will fund projects that develop, implement and evaluate interventions and models of care, including those targeting the specific needs and challenges of disadvantaged populations and people living with multiple chronic conditions.

PCC Webinars

Recent PCC Webinars - Recordings Available


Roundtable on the Importance of Independent Primary Care Practices (March)

In a period of dynamic change in the organization and ownership of primary care practices, is it important to ensure that independent practice models remain in the care-delivery ecosystem? This roundtable discussion among leading proponents, practitioners and partners of independent primary care addressed the important characteristics of independent practices and promising strategies to sustain them.

This webinar was made possible with support from The Commonwealth Fund.

How Can Telehealth Support Integrated Mind-Body Care? (February)

Bringing together medical and behavioral health care is a common step toward integration, and technology is an increasingly useful tool to further integration. We explore the various aspects of integration, how patients and clinicians benefit, payment implications, practice management and more.

Primary Care Payment Reform: Foundational Concepts and Approaches (January)

This webinar is a review of primary care payment concepts and models, followed by a discussion among primary care innovators and leaders of different payment approaches and design issues in crafting hybrid models using both fee schedule and capitation components.

New Articles, Research & Resources

Research: Reports: Resources:    

Upcoming Conferences, Webinars & Events

PCC's Online Event Calendar
Events are listed on PCC's event calendar on its website. Updated regularly, the calendar lists events of interest to the primary care community.

America's Physician Groups Annual Conference 2022: Physician Groups: Leading the Value Movement

June 1-3, 2022
San Diego, Calif.

Postpartum Depression and Maternal Mental Health: How Caregivers Can Help

Presented by Families for Depression Awareness
May 10, 2022 | 7:00-8:30 p.m. EDT

Join the PCC as an Executive Member!

Executive Membership in PCC comes with many benefits. Becoming an Executive Member allows you to:
  • Connect and network with organizations and individuals from different stakeholder groups who share a common commitment to furthering primary care
  • Contribute to the PCC’s policy and advocacy work 
  • Receive the monthly member-only e-newsletter that highlights policy developments, upcoming events, and key issues related to primary care 
  • Join and become an active participant in PCC's workgroups
  • Receive discounts on event registrations 
  • Sponsor events and initiatives   
  • Also become a participant (help guide the direction of) of PCC's Better Health - Now campaign
  • Do much more 
Visit the Executive Member page for more information, and watch the short (less than 2 minutes) video below that features organizations and why they chose to become Executive Members.
If you have questions about the membership process or benefits or would like to schedule a conversation about joining the PCC, please contact: 
Maria Sulima
Membership Coordinator
Get more information and apply for membership
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