AAFP Welcomes Publication of Quality Payment Program Proposed 2018 Rule

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Statement attributable to:
John Meigs, Jr., MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is pleased that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published its 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program(s3.amazonaws.com). The proposed regulation will improve the ability of family physicians to participate successfully in payment reforms envisioned by the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

“We will be thoroughly analyzing the proposed regulations, but a brief review indicates progress on several fronts.

“We’re pleased that, consistent with the Department of Health and Human Services’ directive, CMS has taken steps to reduce administrative and regulatory burden. We’re equally pleased that CMS agreed with the AAFP recommendations on medical homes. For example, the financial risk borne by medical homes rolls out more slowly, providing more time for family physicians to move toward full participation in the Advanced Payment Model track. Equally important are the significant steps to reduce risk for practices of all sizes in the MIPS program.

“We’re pleased that CMS chose to promulgate rules that are related to virtual groups. This is a solid step forward in leveling the playing field for small practices who—without a mechanism by which they can join other practices for reporting purposes—would be subject to a negative payment adjustment.

“The AAFP will thoroughly analyze the QPP update and offer our comments to CMS later this summer.”

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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