Spotlight on the APM Subcommittee

May 30, 2019

The College is actively involved in advocating for the needs of practicing allergists. For the past few years, we’ve worked diligently on developing an alternative payment model (APM) for asthma. The effort was spearheaded by our APM Subcommittee, housed under the Advocacy Council and chaired by James Tracy, DO, FACAAI.

The subcommittee has worked in close partnership with the American Medical Association and the Center for Health and Quality Payment Reform to develop the Asthma APM proposal, which was recently submitted to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). The PTAC was established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make recommendations to HHS about which APMs to test and approve. We’re making a strong case to have them consider our APM.

The College’s Asthma APM was one of the key topics of discussion in the recent College Strike Force visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. “All the folks we visited with on the legislative side of government (Congress and Senate – republican and democrat) were supportive of the College’s APM,” said Allen Meadows, MD, FACAAI, president-elect. “Many agreed to reach out to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on behalf of physician-focused alternative payment models.”

The Asthma APM is intended to improve quality of care, while providing an alternative way to compensate physicians caring for asthma patients. It offers many benefits, including:

  • More flexibility to offer innovative treatment options that are not reimbursed under the current restrictive fee-for-service payment system.
  • A 5% lump sum payment bonus for physicians who meet the participation thresholds in advanced APMs as specified under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 legislation.
  • Exemption from the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.
  • Reduction in overall health care spending via reduced emergency department visits, hospital admissions and unnecessary tests and medications.

The APM Subcommittee held numerous conference calls and one all-day in-person meeting to develop the Asthma APM. “Development of the Asthma APM required considerable resources and commitment from our subcommittee members and outside partners,” said Dr. Tracy. “Without their work, development of the APM would not have been possible.”

These efforts underscore the dedication of our members who lend their time and expertise to advance the work of the College and make a difference for the allergist community.