During the National Conference of Constituency Leaders/Annual Chapter Leaders Forum held May 5-7 in Kansas City, AAFP President Wanda Filer, MD, MBA, FAAFP launched MACRA Ready. This multi-year, comprehensive communication and education initiative of the AAFP is designed to help Family Physicians prepare for the transition to value-based payment under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
If you weren't able to watch the May 6th MACRA Ready live stream, you can watch the video on the AAFP website. There you will also find a timeline of important dates, a review of what value-based payment means for Family Physicians, a list of the MACRA alphabet soup acronyms, and other helpful resources. We encourage you to bookmark the webpage and check back often for updates.
Following the MACRA Ready launch, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt and Deputy Chief of Staff Tim Gronniger presented, during a town hall meeting at NCCL/ACLF, an overview of the recently released 962-page proposed rule for guiding MACRA implementation. They explained CMS' three overarching goals of implementation are ensuring the agency's actions are patient-centered, regulations are practice-driven and flexible, and processes and requirements, including measurement reporting, are simplified.
Slavitt went on to say that, "This is an enormous opportunity for progress, but if we don't implement well and carefully with the patient in mind, there's also opportunity to hurt the Medicare program." He then encouraged Family Physicians to provide feedback on the proposed rule, stating "your comments will be vital to let us know what were' seeing and what we're not seeing."
The number of physicians who lined up at the microphone during the question and answer period to share their concerns and ask questions were many. Overvalued codes, underpayment for the delivery of care, and the need for more time before MACRA's performance year begins were among the hot topics Family Physicians raised. CMS is continuing to accept public comment on the proposed rule through June 27.
AAFP is reviewing and drafting a response and will be accepting feedback from state chapters. If you have input you would like included in the feedback that MAFP submits to AAFP on behalf of the membership, please email MAFP Director of Government Affairs Christin Nohner at firstname.lastname@example.org. AAFP's final response to HHS will then be shared with the membership.