• A Word From the President

    We Can Make a Difference Together

    Dec. 13, 2023

    By Steven Furr, M.D., FAAFP
    AAFP President

    Kansas City was the place to be the week after Thanksgiving, and not just because Taylor Swift was in town. 

    Although Swift’s boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, was spotted at the Trader Joe’s just a few blocks from AAFP headquarters during my visit, I was far more excited about meeting with the Academy’s outstanding staff and the new Board of Directors. Together, they are a winning team!

    During that meeting with staff on Nov. 28, I was asked about my goals for my year as Academy president. My answer was simple: The AAFP has a strategic plan based on member feedback that informs our work. There’s not a “Dr. Furr Strategic Plan.” 

    The Academy continues its commitment to working on issues that are vital to members, including increasing primary care payment, reducing administrative burden and growing the family medicine workforce. 

    Having said that, it’s no secret that I want to draw more family physicians into leadership and advocacy roles because having more strong voices speaking for the specialty will help us — you guessed it — increase primary care reimbursement, reduce administrative burden and grow the family medicine workforce. 

    I spoke before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee in October to ask Congress to protect the payment win that family physicians are counting on with implementation of the Medicare G2211 add-on code on Jan. 1. The new code has the potential to improve reimbursement by paying primary care physicians more accurately for the complex, high-value visits we provide as part of a continuous relationship with a patient. Get ready to use G2211 by learning when it applies and how to set your practice up to use it.

    We’ve been celebrating the finalization of the G2211 add-on code for 2024, but the AAFP hasn’t let up on our call for Congress to address longstanding issues with Medicare physician payment law that are driving the low payment rates we’re all too familiar with. Most recently, we joined our colleagues across organized medicine to call on Congress to mitigate the 3.4% Medicare payment reduction set to take effect on Jan. 1.

    The Academy also took advantage of that October hearing to urge action on other legislative priorities we will keep advocating for next year to build on 2023 successes:

    I’ll be back in Washington, D.C., for a day of advocacy in January with AAFP Board Chair Tochi Iroku-Malize, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., FAAFP, and President-elect Jen Brull, M.D., FAAFP. We’ll once again stress the importance of increasing payment, reducing administrative burden and bolstering the physician workforce in meetings with legislators and congressional staff. 

    Although it’s good for Congress to hear from family medicine’s elected leaders, what really gets a legislator’s attention is having someone who votes in their district speak directly to them. You can do just that by using the AAFP’s Speak Out tool to give elected officials your perspective on issues that affect family physicians and our patients. 

    If you want to do more but aren’t sure how, the AAFP’s Family Medicine Advocacy Summit offers an opportunity to learn how to be an effective advocate and then put those skills to work on Capitol Hill by lobbying members of Congress. The 2024 summit is scheduled for May 19-21 in Washington. 

    The AAFP is always working to develop leaders. Another upcoming opportunity is the Annual Leadership Conference April 18-20 in Kansas City, Mo., which brings together the Annual Chapter Leader Forum and the National Conference of Constituency Leaders.

    ACLF is the AAFP’s leadership development program for chapter-elected leaders, aspiring leaders and chapter staff. NCCL is a leadership development event for underrepresented constituencies, including women; minorities; new physicians; international medical graduate physicians; and LGBTQ+ physicians.

    There are many more abundant opportunities to take on a leadership role in family medicine, whether you are a student, resident, a new physician or an active member. 

    You can make a difference. 

    We will make a difference working together. 


    The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.