Nearly half a million patients in New York's Hudson Valley can now call their primary care physician offices patient-centered medical homes, thanks to a Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC) (Fishkill, N.Y.) project that garnered participation from six health plans to improve the quality of care in the region.
The health plans—Aetna, CDPHP, Hudson Health Plan, MVP Health Care, UnitedHealthcare and Empire BlueCross Blue Shield—represent some 65 percent of the commercial insurance market in the Hudson Valley and 43 percent of Medicaid managed care. Setting aside competition in favor of cooperation with THINC, the health plans paid $1.5 million to 236 primary care physicians in 11 practices that achieved patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which served as an objective measure of medical home-ness. The incentives were paid to providers for transformation to a PCMH and for the enhanced, more robust services patients receive in a medical home.
The PCMH transformation project was managed over a one-year period by THINC, the not-for-profit organization that convenes providers, payers, employers, public health agencies, quality organizations, consumers and local leaders to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care for the community. The work was managed in collaboration with Taconic IPA.