January 2015 Update

It was a quick start to 2015! Health is Primary kicked off the New Year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES15), the world’s premiere technology trade show, in Las Vegas. The campaign hosted a panel discussion on consumer health technology from the family physician perspective.

Consumer health technologies, from apps and wearables to self-diagnosis tools, have the potential to strengthen patient-physician relationships and improve health outcomes. The panelists shared recent survey data on current use of consumer health apps with patients and urged developers to get physicians and patients involved early in the development process.

This event was the start of a longer-term effort by Family Medicine for America’s Health to advance a health technology agenda and encourage the development of consumer health technology that is:

• Evidence-based—Informed by science and in line with practice guidelines

• Patient-friendly—not just easy to use but with built-in incentives that can support healthy behaviors; and,

• Interoperable—able to connect with office technology so physicians can access data and stay connected to patients

Thanks to Health is Primary Twitter fans who followed the panel at @HealthIsPrimary and used the hashtags #CES2015 with #MakeHealthPrimary to participate in an engaging conversation online.

Click here for more information on the CES session.

Health is Primary nutrition & fitness initiative to launch end of January. Later this month, Health is Primary will launch its first “Focus on Health” initiative to highlight the important role primary care and family medicine can play in promoting nutrition and fitness. This initiative is the first in a series that will occur each quarter throughout the campaign demonstrating how primary care supports patients in preventing disease and promoting health. Future topics in 2015 include chronic disease management in March, immunizations in August and smoking prevention and cessation in November.

Hitting the road in February. Health is Primary will host its inaugural City Tour at the Raleigh Convention Center on February 26. The campaign will showcase a range of local initiatives that are improving primary care and delivering on the Triple Aim of better care and better quality at a lower cost. Following Raleigh, Health is Primary will visit Seattle, Chicago, Denver and Detroit. Click here to stay current on dates, locations and speakers for the campaign City Tour. We are looking for extraordinary examples of change that are underway around the country. If you have a story to share from anywhere in the U.S., we want to hear it. Please email us at [email protected].

Core Teams Launched. The six Core Teams met for the first time in December to prioritize the tactics they will tackle in 2015 and to begin designing the action plans for those tactics. The Core Teams looked into the future to begin to determine what success can look like five years out – and established metrics for each tactic that will help define what success would look like in year one. The prioritized tactics for each of the Core Teams that will be launched in 2015 are:


Create a primary care metrics framework that supports patient-centered care and advances health.

Build on the success of Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and chart a course for the evolution of the model over the next five years—the PCMH roadmap.

Payment Reform:

Help physicians and practices transition from a fee-for-service to a comprehensive primary care payment model. Begin by building a roadmap that can help different types of primary care physicians begin from wherever they are and take steps to make their practice easier and more fulfilling.

Build partnerships with patients, employers and payers to help transition to a comprehensive primary care (CPC) payment model.

Workforce Education and Development:

Improve the evaluation of the full continuum of family medicine education to include and meet the standards of the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs).

Recruit, develop and retain faculty and preceptors in medical school departments and residencies. Using this enhanced talent pool, improve resident and faculty mentoring of medical students to attract them into family medicine.


Launch the newly charged and expanded Center for Primary Care Health IT.

Link the use of new and emerging technologies to facilitating practice and strengthening relationships between patients and the care team.


Identify, measure, and demonstrate which aspects of primary care, including the PCMH, contribute and do not contribute to the Triple Aim.

Conduct research on the relationship between payment models in the US and other nations and the Triple Aim, with emphasis on exploring efficacy of comprehensive primary care payment.

Lead research in common clinical issues.

Engage clinicians, patients, researchers and learners in a learning health system that produces high quality, practical, and relevant family medicine research that is used in practice.


Unify patient advocacy and Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) groups into a more coordinated patient voice.

Strengthen working alliances with other primary care professions in order to speak with a unified voice for primary care.

Building Tactic Team Support Networks. Each of the six Core Teams began developing a strategy to build out their Tactic Team Support Networks. These networks will play an important role as members of the Tactic Teams in accomplishing the action plans for each of the tactics listed above. Tactic team networks will engage experts, leverage influencers, and tap those with energy, passion and interest in getting the work of the tactic teams done. Many types of people will be essential to helping family medicine accomplish our strategic objectives.

Looking ahead. The Core Teams will continue to meet on a regular basis to further refine their action plans, build out their tactic team networks, and begin to implement their action plans. In next month’s update, we will outline a number of ways in which those who have interest and time can participate in Tactic Team Support Networks.


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