California providers and health plans to increase access to advanced primary care 

August 2, 2022 – As part of a new multi-stakeholder initiative, six health care organizations serving California have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase investment in and access to ‘advanced primary care,’ a model that emphasizes comprehensive, person-focused care, integration of behavioral and physical health services and high-quality outcomes. The agreement outlines a new initiative that strengthens the primary care delivery system throughout the state by enabling primary care practices to transform to a high-performing, value-based care model that reduces costs and improves quality and equity. 

Known as the California Advanced Primary Care Initiative, the effort is jointly led by California Quality Collaborative (CQC), a program of the nonprofit coalition Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH), and the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA). CQC and IHA convened the state’s largest payers to collectively adopt a model to transform primary care statewide. 

The six organizations committed to the California Advanced Primary Care Initiative include: 

  • Aetna 
  • Aledade 
  • Blue Shield of California 
  • Health Net 
  • Oscar 
  • UnitedHealthcare 

The initiative is a first-of-its kind agreement that represents a voluntary joint effort among payers to standardize the way they finance, support and measure the delivery of Advanced Primary Care, a release said. 

“This initiative builds upon a long history of stakeholder collaboration to improve the care and health of Californians and moves us from vision to action with aligned priorities to scale high-quality primary care throughout the state,” says Crystal Eubanks, senior director of CQC. 

California Advanced Primary Care Initiative stakeholders committed to pursuing the following goals in the MOU: 

  1. Transparency: Report primary care investment and adoption of value-based payment models that support the delivery of advanced primary care and performance on the advanced primary care measure set jointly developed by CQC and IHA, a list of metrics that enable purchasers, health plans and providers to identify primary care practices in a given market that are delivering the best results for patients. 
  1. Payment: Adopt an agreed upon value-based payment model for primary care providers that offers flexibility, supports team-based care delivery and incentivizes the right care at the right time. 
  1. Investment: Collaboratively set increased primary care investment quantitative goals without increasing the total cost of care. 
  1. Practice Transformation: Provide technical assistance to primary care practices to implement clinical and business models for success in value-based payment models, integration of behavioral health and reduction of disparities. 

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