• AAFP: Congress Must Support Comprehensive Primary Care

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 11, 2023 

    Contact: 
    Julie Hirschhorn
    AAFP Public Relations
    jhirschhorn@aafp.org

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and 36 other health organizations, representing millions of clinicians, patients and key members of the health care community, have joined together to urge Congress to support comprehensive primary care and the implementation of the G2211 code in 2024—a Medicare billing code that will bolster the health care workforce and safeguard Medicare beneficiaries’ access to high-quality, patient-centered care.

    “Historic underinvestment in primary care has led to the fragmented, high-cost, hard-to-access health care system we have today,” said Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, FAAFP, president, AAFP. “Primary care delivers robust health care at lower costs, and it is past time we match its value with investment. The implementation of G2211 is an incremental but meaningful step toward rebuilding the foundation of primary care patients deserve: better health care, better outcomes, more primary care physicians and lower costs.”

    The G2211 code, which is under attack, reflects the time, intensity and practice expense needed to establish meaningful relationships with patients and address their health care needs with consistency and continuity. 

     “Implementing G2211 will ensure that family physicians can continue to provide the services that cement them as a cornerstone of care—including managing chronic conditions and acute problems, modifying medication doses, administering vaccines, providing preventive screenings, and counseling on sleeping, eating and exercising,” said Iroku-Malize. “By appropriately compensating clinicians for providing high-quality, low-cost care, G2211 will help improve health outcomes, strengthen the Medicare program and allow practices to keep their doors open so they can continue to provide the person-centered, affordable care patients need.”

     The letter follows the AAFP’s comments on the 2024 Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule, which applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for advancing several proposals to support primary care. In addition to promptly implementing G2211, family physicians are encouraged by proposals to include new coding and payment for screening, addressing unmet social needs and more accurate payment for behavioral health integration.

    In addition to supporting the full implementation of G2211, Congress should turn its attention to long-overdue Medicare physician payment reforms. Practices across specialties face an untenable environment: Medicare payments are going down while beneficiaries' needs and practice costs are going up. The physician community agrees that annual inflationary adjustments and budget neutrality relief are urgently needed. 

    “Now is the time for Congress and health care leaders to come together to boldly champion primary care and prioritize the health of our nation’s seniors,” said Iroku-Malize. “If the country is truly looking to improve access to care for all, we must embrace policy changes that will correct underinvestment in primary care.”

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    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest 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 and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.