April 2017 Update

Health is Primary Sponsors Alliance for Health Reform Summit on the Future of Health Insurance. Health is Primary sponsored a half-day summit hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform on the Future of Health Insurance. The event featured a variety of experts including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former CMS Director Tom Scully, who discussed policy options to address the nation’s health care issue. The summit also examined ideas to stabilize the individual insurance market and evaluated the future for Medicaid. Kisha Davis, M.D., a practicing family physician in Maryland, participated as a Summit panelist and shared her views on health care reform, emphasizing the need to accelerate the pace toward value-based payment. The Summit aired on C-SPAN. The first panel, The State of Play: Challenges and Issues in Health Insurance, can be viewed here. The second panel, The Future of Health Insurance: Stabilizing the Individual Insurance Market, can be viewed here. The third panel, The Future of Health Insurance: Medicaid Moving Forward, can be viewed here. The final panel, The Future of Health Insurance: On the Ground Considerations and Implications, can be viewed here. The next Health is Primary-sponsored AHR event will be a congressional briefing on Friday, May 5.

April is Health Equity Month. This month the Health is Primary campaign is focusing on health equity. You can download our monthly toolkit that includes infographics on how a strong primary care system can reduce health disparities and improve health equity in vulnerable populations.

Health is Primary Releases New Data on Primary Care. Health is Primary commissioned a survey showing that 92 percent of Americans support having access to a primary care physician and 87 percent support paying for value instead of volume in primary care. Results of the survey can be found here.

Help Us Promote a Unified Message About Primary Care. A strong primary care system is critical to a high functioning, cost effective health care system, and we need your voice. For suggestions about how to promote our message and engage on social media, see our 2017 campaign calendar, posters and infographics.

Update from the Strategy Implementation Team

Connecting Practice Transformation with Payment Change: Two Projects

Physician Readiness Project

The Physician Readiness Project has completed three of four focus groups designed to understand and assess physician readiness to transform their practices. The final focus group will include family physicians who are “pre-contemplators,” with respect to practice transformation. Pre-contemplators are those who haven’t heard much about transformation and

haven’t yet made up their mind whether they are interested or not in learning more. If you fall into this category and would like to participate in the focus group, let us know by contacting Jack Janson at [email protected].

Results from the four focus groups, each with physicians whose practices are at different stages of readiness, will be used to help practices identify and overcome obstacles to practice transformation, giving them the chance to take advantage of value based payment opportunities.

Practice Bright Spots Project. The Practice Team has launched a project to identify and interview practices that are “bright spots” of practice transformation. Building on the work of Tom Bodenheimer, M.D., and others, the project team wants to learn how these practices have transformed themselves while moving from fee-for-service to a blended or comprehensive primary care payment framework. The team is working with “bright spot” practices to learn what tools they have found helpful, what resources are required and how these practices are able to thrive when others struggle to make similar changes in an environment that can be exhausting and lead to burnout. The team will use findings from this project to help other practices on their path to transformation.

If you would like to learn more about this project, or be included as a “bright spot” practice, let the team know by contacting Jack Janson at [email protected].

Technology Team Publishes Vision Statement RE: The Future of Health IT. The Technology Team’s Vision Statement outlines the future of technology in primary care. The AAFP will publish the Vision Statement in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine on its organizational page. If you would like a copy of the Vision Statement when it is available, please let the team know by contacting Jack Janson at [email protected].

Bringing Practices and Tech Entrepreneurs Together. At its Health Innovation Roundtable in December at the STFM Conference on Practice Improvement, the Technology Team brought together a diverse set of family physicians with forward thinking innovators. Participants were invited to identify issues facing practices where technology could make a difference. The top three priority areas identified where technology could be useful were: population health management, patient and community engagement, and moving technology from functioning as a barrier to care to becoming a solution in providing high quality care. The Technology Team is now working to identify tech innovators who can work with some of the participants at the Roundtable, and others, on addressing the three challenges identified.


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