Medicare is seeking proposals from organizations to run large scale projects aimed at improving the health of Medicare beneficiaries with congestive heart failure, complex diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease under a new initiative announced today by HHS. CMS will chose about 10 projects, each serving about 15,000 to 30,000 beneficiaries in specific regions around the country during a three-year period. Each project will help beneficiaries better manage their diseases while bringing down costs to Medicare. The initiative was mandated by the Medicare reform legislation passed last year. Beneficiary participation is voluntary.
James Martin, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which has been pushing for a model in which the family doctor would coordinate chronic care for patients (MP Stat, March 30), said he is "pleased they are willing to do something to protect traditional fee-for-service Medicare," but remains concerned that the CMS approach may leave doctors out of the loop.
CMS will publish a notice in the April 23 Federal Register seeking proposals. More information can be obtained at www.cms.hhs.gov/medicarereform/ccip.