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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative plans to increase its number of participating primary care medical practices from 16 to 36, growing the number of patients enrolled in patient-centered medical homes in Rhode Island from 86,000 to more than 190,000, about one-fifth of the state’s population, the organization announced on April 4.
The nonprofit initiative, known as CSI-RI, is dedicated to building a primary care infrastructure “that will work better for all Rhode Islanders, whether they are a patient, employer, provider or a payer.
According to the initiative’s analysis conducted in 2012, participating practices saw 8.1 percent fewer inpatient hospital admissions than non-participating practices. In addition, internal data from the state’s two largest commercial health insurers, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and UnitedHealthcare of New England, showed reductions and a slow in cost of inpatient admission trends.
Practices participating in CSI-RI also achieved “impressive results” on quality measures for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, according to the group’s 2012 annual report.
Among the group’s plans for 2013 is the launch of a new pilot program, CSI-Kids, which will integrate pediatric practices into initiative.
Debra Hurwitz, co-director of CSI-RI, said that her group is working with Dr. Michael Fine, the director of the R.I. Department of Health, regarding his proposal to establish a Primary Care Trust in Rhode Island, a network of community-based patient-centered medical homes. “We have been collaborating with Dr. Fine and his team from the Health Department, sharing lessons learned as he is developing his thoughts,” Hurwitz said.
She said that CSI-RI is focused more on developing payment systems that can sustain primary care transformation to the medical home model. “Patient-centered medical homes are the building blocks of larger entities, such as trusts or accountable care organizations, and we believe that we know how to help practices adopt that model of practice.”
Currently, 47,905 of the roughly 86,000 Rhode Islanders receiving care in a patient-centered medical home are insured through health insurance plans offered by Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare, Tufts Health Plan and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, according to CSI-RI spokeswoman Sarah Beron. Another 8,427, about 10 percent, are covered under Medicare. Of the 47,905 commercially insured members, 13,137 are covered under Medicaid managed care plans and 5,029 are covered under Medicare Advantage plans.