MGMA Stat poll: Physicians oppose mandatory Medicare APMs

October 23, 2020
Keith A. Reynolds

Respondents prefer flexibility and choice in value-based payment reform.

Healthcare leaders do not have an appetite for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to require participation in Medicare alternative payment models (APMs).

According to a news release detailing the results of the latest MGMA Stat poll, of the 802 respondents 76 percent say that the government should not mandate participation in Medicare APMs. Meanwhile, 14 percent say that they are unsure, leaving only 10 percent saying that CMS should mandate the use of APMs.

In an emailed statement, Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for MGMA, says that the organization has strongly supported healthcare moving to a provision for more accountable, coordinated care.

“However, MGMA maintains that CMS must incentivize, rather than mandate, participation in APMs,” he says. “Joining an APM is an important decision best made by the group practice, not the government. It is wrong to assume all group practices across the country can succeed in and benefit from the same payment model. Rather than rely on a government mandate to increase participation in APMs, CMS should focus on broadening the scope of models being tested, providing appropriate incentives, offering sufficient support, and leveraging input from physicians and group practices.”

According to the release, the feds have shown “little aptitude” in implementing value-based reforms and CMS’ Innovation Center, which is tasked with testing APMs, has been slow in producing new options. Meanwhile, CMS Administrator has made remarks that the agency will implement more mandatory models in the future.

MGMA calls on CMS to not artificially inflate the numbers by mandating APMs but should focus on developing new models which meet the needs of a large mix of practices of different types, sizes, and specialties, the release says.

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