HHS is actively promoting the move to value-based payments, and a new federal grant program aims to help physicians in rural and underserved areas make that transition.
The agency announced(www.hhs.gov) last month it is offering the grant to small physician practices as part of efforts to implement the Quality Payment Program(www.cms.gov), (QPP) an essential component of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which will change how Medicare pays physicians.
HHS is allocating $20 million annually for the next five years to fund training and education for Medicare clinicians in individual or small group practices -- that is, practices with 15 or fewer clinicians.
"Doctors and health care providers in small and rural practices are critical to our goal of building a health care system that works for everyone," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. "Supporting local health care providers with the resources and information necessary for them to provide quality care is a top priority for this administration."
The funding will allow small practices in underserved areas to receive training that will better prepare them to participate in new payment models.
To be eligible for a grant, organizations must demonstrate an ability to provide customized training to clinicians. Grant recipients will provide education and consultation about the QPP at no cost to clinicians or practices.
Organizations that receive the funding will be expected to help support small practices as they develop strategies for success in the QPP, such as by identifying quality measures and/or electronic health record systems that may be appropriate for their needs.
Grant recipients would also train clinicians on new clinical practice improvement activities, such as determining how these activities could fit into their daily workflow and evaluating the potential of alternative payment models.
Recipients will be announced by November 2016.
Related AAFP News Coverage
Collection of MACRA: The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act News Stories
Grant Application Instructions(www.fbo.gov)