View the 2020 Principles of Health Care System Reform for full details of each topic listed below.
ADDRESS THE FAMILY PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE
- Support policies that equalize reimbursement for primary care and specialty care.
- Reward care provided by family medicine through reimbursement policies that are proven to ensure high quality patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.
- Expand access to loans for medical students, and deferment and forgiveness of loans for medical students choosing family medicine.
- Increase financial support to hospitals to establish residency programs in family medicine.
- Expand graduate medical education funding—both direct graduate medical education and indirect medical education including: preserving existing alternative graduate medical education programs such as the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program, Title VII and other medical education programs.
REDUCE UNNECESSARY PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS
Reduce burdensome paperwork requirements across federal programs so physicians can spend more time treating patients.
- Expand the “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative.
- Promote EHR interoperability and standardize reporting requirements to reduce time spent on EHRs.
- Develop meaningful EHR reporting requirements to replace unnecessary requirements that do not contribute to patient outcomes.
- CMS should allow physicians to be reimbursed for time spent preparing for patient visits and time spent logging medical information into the electronic medical record beyond the day of the patient visit.
- Streamline utilization management policies across payers in a way that all stakeholders can quickly and efficiently address patient needs.
- Physicians require program certainty, especially in the QPP, to properly serve Medicare beneficiaries. Any major regulatory changes to Medicare must be thoughtfully implemented to ensure that physicians have time to familiarize themselves with new program rules and update their practice accordingly.
IMPROVE OUTCOMES AND REDUCE COSTS THROUGH PRIMARY CARE AND SUPPORTING FAMILY PHYSICIANS
- Support primary care models that empower and reward PCPs who focus on prevention of chronic illness, manage those who have progressed, and appropriately use specialists.
- Support reimbursement policies that reward care provided by family physicians who are proven to ensure high quality and improved patient outcomes.
- Physicians should earn compensation for activities that are under the heading of “care coordination.” These activities are essential for improved outcomes and reduction of health care costs.
- Equalize reimbursement across settings of care and between primary care and specialty care so that primary care has the resources to provide the newest technology and to obtain health IT that assists with improving quality and reducing costs.
- Federal regulators and legislators should carefully consider how new policies will affect EHR systems and provide support to physicians for any policy that requires changes to existing EHRs.
PRESERVE THE FAMILY PRACTICE MODEL OF CARE
FOCUS ON VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
- Support policies, including reimbursement policies, that do not create incentives to use non-physician clinicians in lieu of family medicine physicians.
- Physician-led care teams deliver the highest quality care for patients.
- States and state medical regulatory entities are in the best position to establish physician supervision and scope of practice requirements.
- Ensure recognition and inclusion of the social determinants of health and their overarching impact on healthcare in policy making.
- Expand physician knowledge of population health and how it relates to the understanding of patient outcomes.
- Expand telehealth access and billable codes for vulnerable populations in rural, innercity and urban areas.
- Preserve and enhance Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for rural and underserved area physicians, including the facilities where they provide care (e.g., Rural Health Clinics (RHC), Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC’s), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH).
ADDRESS THE OPIOID CRISIS
- Support federal legislative and regulatory actions that combat the opioid crisis, but do not impede access to opioids for legitimate indications and patients.
- Support federal action on behavioral health including: additional funding for mental health facilities and more physicians trained to manage these patients.
- Support additional reimbursement for PCP’s to provide high-level, in-office screening and make appropriate referrals to behavioral health specialists.
- Lobby for parity in reimbursement for behavioral health screening and services.
- Support greater access to MAT by loosening prescribing rules and expanding telehealth services, especially in rural areas.
- Ensure that primary care physicians are leading care for patients suffering from OUD.
- CMS should reassess the value of bundling for payment of OUD services.
- Leverage existing primary care-focused codes that supports family physicians’ ability to treat OUD.