What is Primary Care First? 

According to CMS, Primary Care First is “a set of voluntary five-year payment model options that reward value and quality by offering innovative payment model structures to support the delivery of advanced primary care” where they are “prioritizing the doctor-patient relationship; enhancing care for patients with complex chronic needs and high need, seriously ill patients, reducing administrative burden, and focusing financial rewards on improved health outcomes”. If you would like more details on this model, click here.


CMS was originally supposed to launch it’s new Primary Care First payment models on January 1st, 2020. It has now been delayed and set to launch in 2021. 

But all is not lost, CMS has begun to accept applications to participate in this program. 

Cause of Delay? 

The two major reasons for delaying the launch were so stakeholders could have more time to consider participating and so practices could start moving away from their fee-for-service business structures. 

Who Can Apply? 

Hospices and palliative care organizations can participate in the payment models if they meet the program’s criteria. See if you meet the requirements here.