$840 million will fund improved care via new clinical networks


A new initiative announced Thursday is expected to deliver stronger health outcomes by giving medical practices the technical assistance and peer-level support they need to deliver efficient patient-centered care.

As a new model of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative will award $840 million for the creation of evidence-based, peer-led collaboratives and practice transformation networks to support physicians in providing high-quality care.

“The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative will achieve a number of important goals,” said AMA Board Chair Barbara L. McAneny, MD, who participated in a CMS call announcing the initiative. “It will foster collaboration among a broad community of practices of various sizes, including collaboration between primary care physicians and specialists. It will also develop a network for sharing information among medical societies as well as multi-stakeholder regional collaboratives to support practice transformation.”

The networks, which will be announced in the late spring, are expected to support 150,000 clinicians beginning May 1. Anticipated strategies include giving physicians better access to patient information, expanding how patients can communicate with their health care team and improving coordination of care.

CMS is encouraging large group practices, medical associations, quality improvement organizations, regional health collaboratives and other organizations that have existing relationships with physician networks to apply. Optional letters of intent are due Nov. 20, and the application deadline is Jan. 6.

The AMA has been urging CMS to assist physician practices in their efforts to adopt new payment and delivery models under physician leadership, a primary goal of this new model.

“We strongly believe that practice transformation can lead to improvements in the quality of care for patients, control health care costs and enhance practice sustainability as physicians embrace innovative new models,” Dr. McAneny said.

This federal effort aligns with the AMA’s Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability initiative, which promotes sustainable practices that can result in improved health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians.

The AMA is committed to identifying and supporting current and emerging payment and care delivery models that work best for physicians across a variety of practice settings to help them provide high-quality care and achieve professional satisfaction.