AMGA to HHS: Payment Stability, Regulatory Flexibility Needed in Primary Care
AMGA today offered recommendations on efforts to strengthen primary health care to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).
Alexandria, VA – AMGA today offered recommendations on efforts to strengthen primary health care to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). Primary care providers are facing many challenges, and AMGA recommended that HHS increase the Medicare conversion factor, promote value-based care through payment models, and maintain telehealth flexibilities.
"Access to high-quality primary health care is essential for patients and is a key to improving health equity and health outcomes," said AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A. "It’s imperative that HHS continue to support primary care providers and ensure they have the resources necessary to care for their communities."
AMGA's recommendations are in response to a June 27 Request for Information (RFI) issued by HHS/OASH on their Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care.
- AMGA stressed the need for HHS to address impacts associated with the decreased Medicare conversion factor. Left unaddressed, the conversion factor will decrease more than 4% from $34.60 to $33.08. In addition to this decrease, AMGA members are facing significant financial pressures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and increased operating expenses. A decrease in the conversion factor will exacerbate these pressures.
- AMGA recommended that HHS promote value-based care by developing models that offer regulatory flexibilities based on the understanding that the volume concerns in a fee-for-service environment are not applicable in value-based payment models.
- AMGA also recommended that HHS extend the telehealth flexibilities that were enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"AMGA members have made significant investments in telehealth infrastructures and platforms to ensure that their patients have access to care," said Penso. "Telehealth waivers played a crucial role in patient engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS should use its authority to maintain flexibilities in telehealth which has proven to be a valuable, and now expected, part of community care."
The letter is available here.
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high-quality, high-value care. More than 175,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans.
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