The funding was made available by the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.
The Advanced Primary Care Demonstration grant program is one of the initiatives in the health care law designed to combat the explosive growth in health care costs by improving the quality and coordination of health care services. This will be accomplished by implementing new strategies to better manage chronic conditions and reduce repeat hospitalizations, which both saves money and improves the health of patients. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be paid a $6.00 monthly fee for each eligible Medicare beneficiary that receives primary care services to enhance service coordination. The new payment system will incentivize the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department for the quality of care it provides rather than just the quantity of services.
“This funding for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is a win-win. It’s a win for the patients who will receive better care and it’s a win for taxpayers as we implement strategies that will reduce the cost of delivering high quality health care. One of the best ways to get our fiscal house in order and reduce our long term debt is to reduce the explosive growth in health care costs–and that’s exactly what this demonstration program is designed to do. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be able to put this funding to work to provide better care to patients in a primary care setting where they feel at home and to reduce expensive trips to the emergency room,” said Capps.
“The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is honored and excited that two of our clinic sites have been selected for participation in the Advanced Primary Care Practice demonstration project. This funding will be used to pilot a new model of care, called the Patient Centered Medical Home, which will transform our clinical operations by improving the integration of services, coordinating care through team based approaches, empowering patients through shared decision making and disease self management, realizing greater efficiencies through health information technology and creating greater access to care. Research has demonstrated that this health care delivery model will lead to improved quality of care and health outcomes, as well as cost savings over time,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, Director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
“Health centers are integral parts of our communities,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald M. Berwick, M.D.“This initiative will give participating health centers the help they need to improve care for many people with Medicare who rely on them as their main source of care.”
During the three year demonstration period, the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will study the impact of the new payment system’s focus on the quality rather than the quantity of health care services provided on hospital admission rates, emergency room visits, and the quality and cost of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries.