MGMA: Physician Practices Oppose Mandatory Medicare APMs

March 1, 2018
Medical group practices overwhelmingly desire flexibility and financial incentives when it comes to moving to Medicare alternative payment models (APMs) according to a new MGMA Stat poll.

Medical group practices overwhelmingly desire flexibility and financial incentives when it comes to moving to Medicare alternative payment models (APMs) according to a new MGMA Stat poll.

The poll, from the Colorado-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), garnered nearly 1,200 responses from its members. Seventy-two percent said that the government should not mandate participation in Medicare alternative payment models; 14 percent said they should mandate participation; and 14 percent they were unsure.

“Despite support for APMs, a large majority of physician practices oppose government mandated participation, citing lack of evidence, diversity among medical practices, and the negative impact on practice innovation,” said Anders Gilberg, MGMA senior vice president of government affairs.

MGMA has long championed voluntary APM opportunities for physician group practices of different types, sizes and specialties and continues to urge CMS to eliminate barriers to physician participation in payment models that support high-quality, cost-effective patient care. 

It remains to be seen just how ready physician practices are to transition to these types of care delivery models, though there have been positive signs of late. In one recent survey, medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) said they expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019.

Another report from the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN) revealed that nearly one-third (29 percent) of total U.S. healthcare payments were tied to APMs such as shared savings/risk arrangements, bundled payments, or population-based reimbursements, in 2016, a six percentage point increase from 2015.

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