Richard Young, M.D., selected to be a CMS innovation advisor

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Richard Young, M.D., selected
to be a CMS innovation advisor

posted 01.24.12

TAFP member Richard Young, M.D., of Fort Worth, has been selected as one in 73 individuals nationwide to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Innovation Advisors Program.  Young is the associate program director and director of research for the John Peter Smith Family Medicine Residency Program.

The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011 and funded by the Affordable Care Act, aims to help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs. The center hopes to find solutions that will save more than half a trillion dollars in Medicare spending over the next 20 years.

Young told the Dallas Morning News that family physicians are key to reform. “When patients see the same doctor each time they seek medical care, a relationship develops. A personal physician can keep spending under control by reining in unnecessary tests, treatments, and imaging.”

He continued, asserting that “too much money now goes to specialist care and overaggressive testing and diagnosis,” and that “having a personal physician in charge who avoids much of this could cut annual spending by 20 percent.”

“If you pay family docs to be more comprehensive than they currently are, and bring more family docs into the population, then cost savings will naturally flow out of that,” he said in the article. “Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. What’s cool is that CMS is finally looking for payment options instead of forcing people to stay with the old payment rules.”

The 73 individuals include clinicians, allied health professionals, health administrators, and others. Though they hail from 27 states and the District of Columbia, Young was the only Texan selected.

The advisers will explore health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis, and operations research, attending in-person meetings and remote sessions. After an initial orientation phase, advisors will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities. They will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States. JPS will receive grant funding to support Young’s activities while serving as an innovation advisor.

“We’re looking to these Innovation Advisors to be our partners—we want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States,” said CMS Innovation Center Director Rick Gilfillan, M.D., in a press release. 

More information about the Innovation Advisors Program, including a fact sheet and a list of participants and their affiliated organizations, can be found at: Also, read Young’s thoughts on his appointment on his blog, American Health Scare.