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Sharon Grace
Chief Communications Officer
703.838.0033 ext. 393
sgrace@amga.org

May 08, 2019

AMGA Calls for MACRA Implementation Reform in Senate Finance Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Crystal Run Healthcare Chief Quality Officer and AMGA Board Member Scott Hines, M.D., today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on behalf of AMGA. Hines’ testimony urged federal legislators to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) the way Congress intended and to continue moving Medicare toward value-based payment.

The hearing, “Medicare Physician Payment Reform after Two Years: Examining MACRA Implementation and the Road Ahead,” called upon testimonies from physicians involved in MACRA to assess how well the legislation has met its goals to improve care quality and value. It also sought to discover which of MACRA’s reforms need to be further improved.

During his testimony, Hines argued that MACRA as it is currently being implemented dis-incentivizes AMGA members from making the multimillion-dollar investments needed to move to payment models based on value. He called upon lawmakers to reduce Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) exclusions, lower Alternative Payment Model (APM) thresholds, and extend the APM program beyond 2024.

“I truly believe Congress passed MACRA to drive the transition to value in Medicare Part B,” said Hines. “However, we have clearly taken a step back from this transition over the past three years by excluding half of eligible clinicians from MIPS and enforcing arbitrary threshold requirements for Advanced APMs. On behalf of AMGA and Crystal Run Healthcare, I affirm that we are ready to work with Congress and CMS [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to ensure that MACRA can serve its intended purpose in moving our Medicare system to value.”

AMGA appreciates CMS’ desire to transition healthcare to a value-based payment system. However, AMGA has repeatedly voiced concerns over the agency’s willingness to implement policies that do not further MACRA’s intent or potential.

“AMGA is fully committed to transitioning our healthcare system to value, as we believe value-based care is a major step forward for patients and providers. However, MACRA’s full potential cannot be realized as long as prohibitive policies stand in its way,” said Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A., AMGA president and chief executive officer. “We are hopeful Dr. Hines’ testimony will resonate with lawmakers as they consider the future of MACRA.”

Dr. Hines' written testimony can be found here.

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About AMGA
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.