Massachusetts Selected for Multi-state, Multi-payer Initiative to Strengthen Primary Care

BOSTON — On June 8, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Massachusetts was chosen as one of eight state partners to implement the Making Care Primary (MCP) model, a new, voluntary primary-care model that will be tested under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

MCP aims to improve care for Medicare patients by expanding and enhancing care management and care coordination, equipping primary-care clinicians with tools to form partnerships with healthcare specialists, while also leveraging community-based connections to address patients’ health needs and health-related social needs.

The MCP model recognizes Massachusetts’ role as an innovation leader and complements efforts already underway in Massachusetts for both Medicare and Medicaid patients. MassHealth is already at the forefront of primary-care transformation, with a focus on equity, integration, and member and provider experience. In April, MassHealth launched a first-of-its-kind primary-care sub-capitation program with more than 1,000 practices participating, including every federally qualified health center and every major health system in the Commonwealth.

While the new MCP model will not lead to any immediate changes in MassHealth’s primary-care sub-capitation program for already participating practices, it will further efforts to improve primary care throughout the Commonwealth.

“We are excited to be chosen as a partner with CMS on their MCP model initiative,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh said. “This is a major step forward in aligning Medicaid and Medicare, which are two major payers in Massachusetts. This partnership is aligned with our goals of high-quality, person-centric, value-based care across the Commonwealth.”

Primary-care organizations within Massachusetts may apply to participate in the Making Care Primary model when the application opens in late summer 2023. The model will launch on July 1, 2024.