The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking up to six states to participate in demonstration programs of the medical home model sponsored with increased payments from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers.

The initiative, called the Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, is authorized under the health care reform law.

Under the medical home model, physician practices are designated patients' "medical home" to coordinate the continuum of care. The practices are redesigned to be more functional and workflow-friendly, and new processes are developed to focus on quality, safety and alternative reimbursement methods. The care model also calls for extensive use of health information technologies, including electronic health records, e-prescribing, clinical decision support, secure messaging and Web portal software.

CMS is soliciting states that demonstrate they can meet certain requirements such as having a state agency responsible for implementing the program, being ready to make payments to participating practices six months after being selected and having mechanisms to connect patients to community-based resources. The demonstration programs will be running by Jan. 1, 2011.

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--Joseph Goedert


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