GNYHA Sends HHS Primary Care Initiative Recommendations

August 8, 2022

GNYHA recently submitted recommendations to a request for information (RFI) from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on its Primary Health Care Initiative, which would strengthen primary care and improve access and equity. HHS sought feedback on successful approaches and innovations to improve primary care delivery, address implementation barriers, and develop models for engaging communities. Responses will also inform a potential infrastructure within HHS that would focus on strengthening primary care.

GNYHA’s response summarized New York State’s efforts to improve primary care via Medicaid’s patient-centered medical home incentive payment program, telehealth expansion, and social needs screening and referral. GNYHA also described several barriers to advancing primary care, including a reimbursement methodology that does not include payment for navigation, coaching, and other non-clinical activities, and limited access to actionable, multi-payer claims data. In addition, GNYHA urged HHS to include specialty care access as a component of its Primary Care Initiative and adopt enhanced primary care payments (while urging commercial payers to do the same). Finally, GNYHA encouraged HHS to continue supporting social needs data standardization through national initiatives and to develop a “health in all policies” approach with other Federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education to model a cross-sector method to address social determinants of health.

GNYHA’s full response is attached. GNYHA will continue following HHS’s primary care activities and keep members apprised of new Federal initiatives, strategies, and programs.

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