CMS issued a request for information on direct provider contracting models as a possible avenue to reduce costs and improve care quality.
Direct provider contracts would cut payers out of the equation, allowing CMS to contract directly with physician group practices or other Medicare providers. This model of care puts more emphasis on patients choosing a primary care practice and on physicians creating a long-term relationship with patients and taking on two-sided financial risk for their care.
"Direct provider contracting would enhance the beneficiary-physician relationship by providing a platform for physician group practices to provide flexible, accessible, and high quality care to beneficiaries that have actively chosen this type of care model," the RFI reads.
Because direct provider contracting is present in some ways in existing CMS initiatives, such as ACOs, the RFI asks for input on how these models would interface with each other. It also calls for input on created direct provider contracts in Medicaid.