How should insurance plans invest in primary care?
RI’s Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller thinks supporting primary care doctors is one of the keys to improving health care in the Ocean State.
So, he’s required the local health insurance plans to increase the amount they spend on primary care by one percent every year until 2014. Today he released a report with advice on where that money should go.
Koller says this is GUIDANCE, not an order, because he wants the insurance plans to have some flexibility. Here are some of his priorities-
- Pay primary care physicians more for their services and create systems for paying for performance and quality improvements.
- Invest in other medical professionals who support primary care for patients- people like nurse care managers, pharmacists based at the doctor’s office, and mental health experts.
- Invest in pilot projects for improving care, like the state’s patient centered medical home project.
- Make primary care more available and comprehensive for children- including email communication, after hours telephone access, screenings for hearing, vision, and developmental disabilities.
- Help encourage medical professionals to pursue primary care in the form of loan forgiveness programs, trainings, and mentoring opportunities.
How would you spend the money?