Total Cost of Care and Maryland's Primary Care Program

Last week, we reported on the approval of the new Maryland Model. This builds on our state's current All-Payer Model, which put in place global budgets at hospitals to "provide greater coordinated care, expanded patient-care delivery, and collaboration of chronic disease management, while improving the quality of care at lower costs to the consumer." 

  • A timely article in the most recent Journal of the American Medical Association, co-authored by Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, provides an assessment of the Maryland's global budgets. 

What has received less attention is the approval of the new Maryland Primary Care Program. This is designed to support "the delivery of advanced primary care throughout the state and allows providers to play an increasingly important role in improving health outcomes, while reducing unnecessary Emergency Department and hospital visits."

Taken together these programs show Maryland's leadership in developing innovative approaches to the delivery of health care. At the same time, there are major implications for consumers. To be successful, therefore, consumers must be informed and engaged in the design and implementation phases. 

Consumer Health First will continue to serve as the lead policy and advocacy organization on these important issues to ensure that the needs and interests of consumers always come first.