FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Patient-Centered Care Requires Investments in Primary Care
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — August 22, 2012 — The National Partnership for Women & Families, the nation’s leading consumer advocate for patient-centered care, released the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the first awards under the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative:
“Primary care providers are critical to our nation’s efforts to create a high-quality health care system but outdated payment systems underpay providers and ignore the skills that patients value. The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI) shows great promise to improve care and create the kind of team-based, patient-centered approach every American needs and deserves.
Today’s announcement that 500 primary care practices including more than 2,000 providers will participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a vital step. Nearly 300,000 Medicare beneficiaries will participate in this effort to improve care. But the proof will be in the execution of this program. Participating practices must truly involve patients and caregivers in the development of new delivery systems, not simply guess at what patients want and need. If successful, these practices will create a model for the rest of the American health care system that will have a positive and lasting impact on the health of individuals, communities, and the nation.
We applaud Medicare for working together with Medicaid, private insurers, employers and clinicians to improve care delivery and shape the patient-centered system for the future. The promise of health care reform cannot be achieved if patients do not have strong relationships with their primary care professionals to help manage and guide their care. High-quality primary care is the foundation for the kind of patient-centered care that keeps us healthy, treats our illnesses, and helps us manage our chronic conditions. It is also critical to achieving the coordinated care that we know improves health and saves money.”
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.