New CareFirst Partnership Aligns More Than a Million Marylanders with the Maryland Primary Care Program

News Release, Maryland Department of Health

Baltimore, MD – More than one million Maryland residents recently gained access to more integrated health services from the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP) as CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland’s largest private health insurer, joined the program.

Primary care practices now have an aligned set of standards for Medicare and CareFirst patient care management and quality care measures. These measures are used to gauge each practice’s success in improving the patient’s health. MDPCP provides incentives for diabetes control, initiation and engagement in alcohol and substance use disorder treatment, and other preventive care and screening measures.

“The MDPCP uses enhanced patient services centered on care coordination to get patients the right care to achieve the best possible outcomes,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “The arrangement with CareFirst provides these primary care practices in the MDPCP combined resources to serve Medicare beneficiaries and CareFirst members in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

The MDPCP is one of three programs under the innovative Maryland Health Model. The model is the first in the country to hold a state accountable for the total cost of caring for Medicare participants. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the MDPCP aims to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

Under the MDPCP, Medicare and CareFirst members have access to advanced primary care. Practices provide onsite care managers and behavioral health specialists, medication management, and integrated community and social support. Advanced primary care is a holistic approach to patient care.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with the State as part of MDPCP and the possibilities that this holds to improve healthcare for all Marylanders. We believe that advancing program alignment between our Patient-Centered Medical Home and MDPCP will better enable primary care practices to accelerate the transformation of care in Maryland,” said Brian Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst.

Now in its second year, MDPCP has enrolled 476 primary care practices and approximately 2,000 health care professionals. More than 350 practices have already integrated mental health and substance use services into their practices. Together the practices in MDPCP serve more than 2 million Marylanders.

“The majority of our MDPCP practices have been working with CareFirst for many years,” said Dr. Howard Haft, Executive Director of the MDPCP. “The collaboration with MDPCP brings new efficiencies to our practices and better health to the Marylanders we serve.”

“We look forward to many years of success working together with CareFirst to improve the health and lower the costs of care for Marylanders,” added Secretary Neall.

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