Transforming Primary Care

The Peterson Center on Healthcare ( a nonprofit organization, has announced a new initiative to look at how primary care practices can deliver care by using a proven high-performance lower-cost model.

Three practice sites at Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice, Internal Medicine of St. Luke’s in Chesterfield Missouri, and Essentia Health-Moorhead Clinic in Minnesota, have begun implementing an operational and management change progress with support from their health system leadership, the Peterson Center, plus a group of national experts in primary care.

The model being implemented is derived from research funded by the Peterson Center along with experts in practice improvement, systems engineering, change management, and patient engagement. The model has 22 actionable modules for practice teams to start implementing changes according to their own goals and patient needs.  

By utilizing research conducted at the Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center, ten distinguishing features of primary care practices were established that can deliver higher quality care at a lower-than-average total cost.

The first phase in the Peterson Center’s approach to achieving scale is what they call a “Limited Market Test” (LMT). The Center is working with three average performing primary care practices and the goal is for the LMT to develop a change package that will guide future practices more rapidly through the implementation process.

The characteristics of high value providers requires:

  • Patients to have a sense that their care team is always available
  • Providing care to so patients receive all the necessary care in a proactive manner
  • Complaints are considered valuable and addressed
  • Primary care teams try to do as much as they can safely rather than referring patients out
  • Physicians in the practice to rely on a carefully selected list of preferred local specialists that share their philosophy
  • Care teams to ensure that the treatment plan agreed upon by the patient and their physician is fulfilled


The Peterson Center’s program is creating engagement among providers and administrative teams in the transformation work. Teams align on a common vision for their practices and are guided through an evidence-based process. The Center is providing direct technical assistance through their own team and assembled a faculty of experts to assist in the implementation.

To further develop the program, the Peterson Center is partnering with other organizations that bring expertise in key areas necessary to replicate, spread, and scale the model to ensure better quality of care for patients. These organizations include the Institute for Clinical Systems and Improvement, Families USA, and the National Partnership for Women and Families

Initially, practices have been implementing key elements of the primary care model for the past several weeks. Early results indicate progress toward the key goals of improved patient satisfaction, improved quality scores, and increased work satisfaction for the care team.

Go to for more information on the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Limited Market Test.

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