AAFP Provides New, Updated Resources to Help Members Navigate Payment Programs, Practice Issues

November 06, 2012 03:10 pm News Staff

This past year has seen a multitude of practice and payment initiatives released across the United States. Many of these initiatives directly affect family physicians' practices, leaving FPs with a number of questions that the AAFP is working to answer.

The Academy wants to ensure family physicians have the appropriate tools at their fingertips when it comes to making decisions related to their participation in new programs, so it recently released several new or updated tools to help members.

Bonus/Penalty Box

Several new Medicare initiatives have proven particularly challenging for physicians because of their complexity. In response, the Academy has created a summary of these initiatives dubbed Medicare Initiatives and You: Bonuses and Penalties(2 page PDF).

The summary, which is in chart form, provides explanations about possible bonus monies that can be earned and financial penalties that will be assessed in association with

  • meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) and, specifically, the Medicare EHR Incentive Program;
  • the Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program;
  • the Physician Quality Reporting System; and
  • the Value-Based Payment Modifier Program.

The summary also includes details on financial implications for physicians not prepared to comply with the Oct. 1 2014, scheduled implementation of the ICD-10-CM code set for outpatient diagnosis coding.

Patient-Centered Medical Home

In addition, the Academy has created a number of patient-centered medical home (PCMH) resources to help family physicians understand and implement the PCMH model of care.

For example, an updated PCMH checklist(2 page PDF) captures the key principles of the PCMH model of care, which public and private payers are beginning to embrace and recognize in their payment methodologies.

In conjunction with these efforts, the AAFP recently released an updated version of its PCMH "house" graphic, which was created several years ago to provide a visual presentation of the most essential elements of the PCMH model. The PCMH house still is made up of four quadrants, but some of the descriptive words inside the house have been modified in the redesign.

Although the quadrants labeled "Practice Organization" and "Health Information Technology" remain the same, the two remaining quadrants have been renamed. "Quality Care" has replaced "Quality Measures," and "Patient-Centered Care" has replaced "Patient Experiences."

Additional Online Resources

Other resources pertaining to payment issues include

  • an updated frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) document on accountable care organizations;
  • ICD-10 informational materials complete with an ICD-10 calculator, FAQ document and timeline for ICD-10 implementation; and
  • details on the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative, which are part of the AAFP's broader informational outreach to family physicians on HHS' CPC initiative.

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