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American College of Physicians
response letter provides feedback on specific questions raised
in the legislative language and recommendations for moving
June 10, 2013
(Washington) - The American College of Physicians (ACP) today
sent a letter to the Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C)
providing feedback on legislative language that the committee
released on May 28, meant to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate
(SGR) formula used for calculating Medicare payments to physicians
and replace it with a fair and stable system.
The 20-page letter provides recommendations on questions that
the committee raised on the two phases. The first phase of the
legislation would stabilize the payment rates under the current
system while setting up the move to new payment models. The second
phase would then transition away from fee-for-service and toward
value-based models of payment with an update incentive program.
ACP said that the legislation should:
Additionally, the College suggested that the committee needed to
include additional, alternative payment models that could be
considered for incorporation in a new Medicare system after the SGR
repeal. These models should include the Patient-Centered Medical
Home (PCMH) and PCMH Neighborhood; the "Prometheus"
Evidence-informed Case Rate (ECR) model; the Comprehensive Global
Payment model; and the expanded use of bundled payments. Lastly,
the College acknowledged that there may be some physicians who
would be unable to transition away from the fee-for-service model
of payment and that provisions for a hardship exemption needed to
made for those who could not through no fault of their own.
Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, president of ACP, ended the letter by
saying that the College appreciates the opportunity to share its
recommendations with the committee. "We support the intent of your
proposal, and hope that our responses to the questions you posed
will be of help to you in continuing the development of a
proposal," she concluded.
The American College of Physicians is the
largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest
physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000
internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists,
and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists
who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the
diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the
spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
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