175 Practices and 600,000 Patients: Celebrating the Successes of the Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot and the Medical Homes Model in Maine

Published on December 12, 2016 by

On the final day of 2016, the sun will set on the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration, a national health care transformation initiative that supported the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Pilot in Maine. MAPCP and the Maine PCMH Pilot have led to marked and positive change in the way primary care is delivered, ushering in more patient-focused and team-based care that is now enjoyed by more than 600,000 Maine patients.

To recognize the accomplishments of the initiative over the last six years, Conveners of the Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot (MaineCare, Maine Quality Forum, Maine Quality Counts, and the Maine Health Management Coalition) brought together participating primary care practice team members from across the State.   The event, held earlier this month at Maple Hill Farms in Hallowell, included both on-site and virtual participants celebrating their hard work and dedication to improving the delivery and quality of care.  While thanking the practices during the intimate gathering at Maple Hill, the conveners also ensured that each practice received broad public recognition in half-page ads that appeared in the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.

The MAPCP Demonstration began in 2011 with eight states participating: Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Each project was conducted and coordinated by the participating State and included Medicaid and substantial participation by private health insurers. The demonstration was initially planned to last for three years in each state.  In early 2014 a decision was made to extend the initiative through the end of 2014, and in September 2014 CMS announced that it would continue the demonstration through 2016.  Now, at the close of 2016, the pilot is finally wrapping up in Maine, after bringing over $35 million in supplemental payments directly to Maine primary care providers.

Lisa Letourneau, MD, MPH began the day’s activities by celebrating the incredible accomplishments of the 175 practices that participated, bringing innovative care to 677,000 patients.

Sharing from the national perspective, guest speaker Lisa Dulsky Watkins, MD, Director, of the Multi-State Collaborative at the Milbank Memorial Fund, offered the national context and recognized the contributions of the Maine practices and the PCMH Pilot.   Following Lisa’s presentation was a lively panel discussion from experts Gay De Hart from Mingle Analytics, Kim Gardner from Maine Quality Counts from Lee Umphrey, Harrington Family Health Center, and Sheila Hanley from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   They discussed potential new Medicare reimbursement options emerging from passage of the recent MACRA legislation, including the encouraging new Comprehensive Primary Care Plus alternative payment model – a model that may become available in Maine beginning in 2017 or 2018.

Marie Brown, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical Center, invigorated the crowd with practical tips on streamlining patient care while improving quality and reducing cost. Taking the time to do pre-visit planning, and re-configuring traditional medication adherence protocols, would pay significant dividends in both time and savings, she suggested. She pointed to online toolkits from the American Medical Association’s Steps Forward program as a great source of how-to info on both pre-visit planning and medication adherence.

Wrapping up the day, a number of providers reflected on the impact the PCMH and Health Home initiatives had on their practice.

“This work translated into enhanced satisfaction for the whole (care) team,” said Inland’s Gavin Ducker, MD. “introduction of TeamSTEPPS had the largest impact,” he added, referencing the team-based communication training offered by Maine Quality Counts.

Susan Cheff, MD, of the Helen Hunt Health Center, also appreciated the initiative’s emphasis on team-based care. “What we define as a team is so different now. It’s expanded to include more disciplines. Now, the integrated team has become what we do, who we are.” She also stressed the kind of freedom that teams bring to individual members. “When it comes to patient care, I can do what I’m best at. And I know that my team members are taking the initiative to do what they’re best at.”

To learn more about the MAPCP, and the PCMH and Health Home initiatives in Maine, please visit the Maine Quality Counts website.


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