HHS Learning Network Sponsors Free Webinar on Virtual ACO Model

September 03, 2015 01:35 pm News Staff

Sign up today for a free webinar(cc.readytalk.com) and learn about a virtual accountable care organization (ACO) model that links a large insurer, a hospital system and physician groups -- all of which are charged with securing the health care needs of some 41,000 public employee retirees in California.

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The event, scheduled for Sept. 9 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EDT, is sponsored by the HHS Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network.(innovation.cms.gov)

HHS announced the creation of the network late in March and described it as an all-inclusive group of stakeholders -- physicians, private payers, employers, state partners and consumers -- with a common goal of working together to accelerate the nation's transition to alternative payment models.

It's important that family physicians stay tuned in to the development of new payment strategies that are based on value, not volume, because HHS has set some lofty national goals. Namely, the agency wants to

  • convert 30 percent of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payments to alternative payment models by 2016, and 50 percent by 2018; and
  • tie 85 percent of Medicare FFS to quality or value by 2016, and 90 percent by 2018.

AAFP Board Chair Reid Blackwelder, M.D., of Kingsport, Tenn., serves on the network's guiding committee.

"As far as I can see, I am the only practicing physician -- and the only person representing a physician member organization -- serving on this committee," he told AAFP News.

"I have a critical role in ensuring that the discussions are not just theoretical and applicable to large academic or subspecialty clinics, but also have some grounding in frontline practice," he said. "I also am committed to considering the potential impact of the committee's suggestions on our small and solo practices."

Blackwelder noted the AAFP's keen interest in improving the payment scenario for family physicians.

"The Academy has long been demanding a shift from fee-for-service to value-based payment, and this committee's work will help to identify how to determine value and how to reward it," said Blackwelder. He urged family physicians to remain engaged and support the committee's work.

Want to be more involved in this effort? Family physicians interested in joining in the conversation can visit the network's registration Web page.(innovationgov.force.com)