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American College of Physicians commends MedPAC June 2008 report to Congress
Date:6/20/2008

specialties."

In its letter to MedPAC, ACP supported the Comission's recommendation that Congress establish a budget-neutral payment adjustment for primary care services billed under the physician fee schedule and furnished by primary-cared-focused practitioners, but recommended that MedPAC consider recommending changes in budget-neutrality rules to allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for administering these rules, to take into account the demonstrated impact of primary care in reducing overall Medicare program costs. A budget neutrality adjustment is unwarranted for investments in primary care that result in overall program cost reduction, such as those generated by reductions in preventable hospital admissions. ACP agrees with MedPAC that this adjustment should be made through use of a modifier to billing codes for primary care services further refined through the development of additional criteria to target the increases specifically to primary care physicians.

ACP also supported MedPAC's recommendation that Congress initiate a medical home pilot project in Medicare, noting that this would be a significant improvement over the Medicare medical home demonstration project Congress previously authorized under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA). The new pilot should not delay moving forward on the existing medical home demonstration, but allow for the existing project to transition to the new recommended pilot.

MedPAC's report also outlined a number of stringent criteria that practices must meet to be eligible for participation in the medical home pilot. While ACP is supportive of most, if not all, of the criteria, it is concerned about the ability of most solo and small practicesthe type of practices that provide care to the majority of Medicare beneficiariesto meet them all. ACP recommends, therefore, that implementation of this project include mechanisms to assist a suitab
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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