AAFP expresses Medicare concerns in 8-page letter
The letter pointed out that "the complexity of care provided by family physicians is unparalleled in medicine" and they "address more diagnoses and treatment plans per visit than any other medical specialty."
"CMS currently undervalues evaluation and management (E/M) codes and other primary care services,” the AAFP wrote. “Without remedying this flaw, payments under MIPS (the Merit-based Incentive Payment System) and future actuarial calculations for APMs (alternative payment models) will not adequately compensate primary care for the complexity of care provided.
Primary care services represent less than 6 percent of the Medicare Part B physician spending and AAFP wants CMS to increase that spending to no less than 15 percent. The letter stated that the increase would be especially critical to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
"The AAFP remains deeply disappointed that CMS only finalized misvalued code changes that achieve 0.32 percent in net expenditure reductions and that the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor will be $35.89," said the letter. This represents an increase of only 9 cents from 2016 and, more importantly, means that physicians will not get the 0.5 percent raise in 2017 that was promised under MACRA.
Lastly, AAFP reminded CMS of the importance of the national health IT programs to undergo a faster update than has been shown so far to date.
Organizations in this story
American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS - 66211