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Transforming Primary Health Care in Oklahoma

Apr. 04, 2013

BCBSOK participates with CMS in national program

Tulsa, OK — The Greater Tulsa Region is currently one of seven regions across the nation participating in a new initiative coordinated by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. This Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative  offers value-based care reimbursement to primary care physicians over the course of four years.

"This program really addresses the fundamental manner in which health care is currently being delivered," said Dr. Joseph Cunningham, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Health Care Management at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. "Our hope is that we can transform health care at the point of delivery — resulting in better health, better care and lower costs."

MyHealth Access Network , a community health information exchange, played an important role in Tulsa being selected to participate in the CPC Initiative. MyHealth is also part of a bigger picture, serving as a health information exchange throughout the state and beyond. MyHealth has enabled the CPC Initiative to come to life within the Greater Tulsa Region and already brought positive attention to Oklahoma through its unique and intricate technological capabilities. It is one of a select few national sites receiving a three year federal Beacon Community Award from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

This program is unique in that it is a collaboration of multiple public and private health plans — CMS, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and insurers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. CMS selected 68 Tulsa area practices to participate, encompassing 265 providers in the Greater Tulsa Region. Currently, approximately 18,000 fully-insured BCBSOK members are participating.

According to CMS, practices were chosen based on their use of health information technology, ability to demonstrate recognition of advanced primary care delivery by leading clinical societies, service to patients covered by participating payers, participation in practice transformation and improvement activities. They were also selected based on diversity of geography, practice size, and ownership structure.

Patients may notice participating physician offering longer and more flexible hours, using electronic health records; coordinating care with patients' other health care providers; better engage patients and caregivers, and providing individualized, enhanced care.

Other participating regions include in Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon, New York's Capital District-Hudson Valley region, and Ohio and Kentucky's Cincinnati-Dayton region. The markets were selected based on the percentage of the total population covered by payers who expressed interest in joining this partnership. CMS estimates that over 300,000 Medicare beneficiaries will be served by over 2,000 providers through this initiative.

View 2013 News Releases