The next wave of health centers has come on board to the Alternative Payment Methodology (APM) pilot. The APM pilot is a health care payment system where Medicaid pays participating community health centers a set amount per patient per month for each enrollee, whether or not the person seeks care. For the past year, our research team has been studying the first wave of APM clinics; we are trying to understand whether this shift in payment is changing the way clinics provide care. Now a whole new group of centers will be tackling these important changes.
The first phase of the pilot program started in March 2013 with three Oregon Community Health Centers: Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Mosaic Medical, and OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond. These first three APM care systems actually worked with the state and other organizations to develop the model. Now, in Phase II of the APM pilot, five more health centers are starting to implement APM: Coastal Family Health Center in Astoria, Community Health Centers (CHCs) of Benton and Linn Counties, Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, OHSU Scappoose in Scappoose, and Yakima Valley Farm Workers in Yakima Washington.
The second-phase APM adopters represent a range of regions and health center sizes. For example the Coastal Family Health Center in Astoria is a small, semi-rural clinic, but their managed care organization was interested in becoming part of the pilot. Multnomah County, on the other hand, is a big health center treating an urban population. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, which has several Oregon sites in addition to Washington, is the first clinic to start the APM with a different Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. All of the health centers voluntarily chose to participate in the pilot.