Newswise — WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule for 2016. The proposed rule was the first to begin implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), in addition to proposing payment and policy provisions that will affect calendar year 2016.

Notably, AMGA supports provisions that included two codes for advance care planning services that will reimburse physicians for discussing end-of-life issues with their patients. AMGA also responded to CMS’s request for information on how to reimburse appropriately for “collaborative care” models which involve interprofessional consultation to treat common behavioral health conditions. Several AMGA member medical groups have already implemented these models in their organizations, and their experiences informed AMGA’s comments. CMS was also looking for stakeholder feedback on ways to increase adoption of the chronic care management code finalized in 2015, in addition to early input on two areas of the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and the alternative payment models that were established in MACRA. AMGA’s comments also addressed these issues.

Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMGA, stated, “We are encouraged that CMS is looking for ways to improve and appropriately reimburse for care management and care coordination―activities that AMGA member medical groups have been engaged in for many years―in addition to seeking input on the Merit-Based Payment System and alternative payment models stemming from the MACRA legislation. The agency must get these policies right, and we look forward to working closely with CMS as they develop these new MACRA payment models.”

AMGA's comments can be viewed at The final policies for calendar year 2016 will be published early in November 2015.

About AMGAThe American Medical Group Association is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems. AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care. AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. More than 170,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.

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