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 AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).