We continue our series on how the AMA effectively works with the College to support allergists with a review of the recent success we’ve had dealing with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.
The medical profession rejoiced in 2015 when the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for Medicare reimbursement was ended by MACRA. But then we had to face the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and Alternative Payment Models (APMs). After careful consideration, the College saw an opportunity to help support our members by developing an asthma APM.
In the spring of 2016, while in DC for the College’s Allergy Strike Force meetings with members of Congress, we made a courtesy-call to the AMA staff. We brought up our interest in APMs and the AMA immediately connected us with Harold Miller, President and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. Harold is a nationally-recognized expert and has done important consulting work with the AMA on these issues. They also put us in touch with Sandy Marks, AMA’s Assistant Director, Federal Affairs, who is an expert on APM development. Thankfully, the AMA has provided us with access to these experts as part of its financial support of the house of medicine and medical specialty societies.
The College then organized an APM Committee, led by Stephen Imbeau, MD, FACAAI and James Tracy, MD, FACAAI, who began to work immediately with Harold and Sandy. These AMA consultants have guided us through the development of the College’s asthma APM which has required a tremendous amount of hard work over many months.
In late 2016 and early 2017 the College presented the APM to colleagues at several national conferences, including the MACRA conference, and we received positive feedback.
At the College’s 2016 Annual Meeting, we began an aggressive search for members to pilot test the asthma APM in their practices. Work with these sites continues today. In the summer of 2017, we filed a letter of intent to submit our asthma APM with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and are working on a more compete document to file with the CMS Physicians Technical Advisory Council (PTAC). PTAC reviews models for acceptance by CMS for reimbursement under Medicare.
Direct and indirect AMA assistance has been critical to the College’s success with the APM development. We greatly appreciate the substantial financial resources that the AMA has committed to support small medical societies like ours.
We, in turn, need to support the AMA by renewing memberships or becoming members. The Advocacy Council and the College want YOU to belong to the AMA.