Family Physician Organizations Urge CMS to Revise Education Support in ACO Model

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The American Academy of Family Physicians and four academic family medicine organizations have submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services urging educational support modifications to the Medicare accountable care organization model, according to an AAFP News Now report.

AAFP and the Council of Academic Family Medicine, which includes the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the North American Primary Care Research Group, said if the ACO model is not changed it could harm the training of family doctors and other primary care physicians and exacerbate the physician shortage.

While the groups support the intent of ACOs, they believe that its inclusion of graduate medical education payments to teaching hospitals in the ACO benchmark and performance expenditure calculations will negatively impact teaching hospitals. An additional concern is that the Medicare ACO goal of decreasing inpatient bed days will decrease indirect  medical education payments.

AAFP and CAFM suggested CMS remove GME payments to teaching hospitals from Medicare savings calculations. They also recommended Medicare ACOs provide financial incentives for primary care training in new models of care, such as patient-centered medical homes.

This letter follows a May 20 letter AAFP sent to CMS regarding ACOs in general.

Read the AAFP News Now report on accountable care organizations.

Related Articles on Medicare ACO Feedback:

HHS Sec. Sebelius: CMS Reviewing ACO Comments

Boards and Physician Leaders Share Concern About ACO Journey

Majority of Senior Hospital Executives Uncertain of ACO Participation

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