Weekly News Clips

This Week in Physician-Led Care: September 30 Edition

The Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care is proud to present the new format of our weekly newsletter, which includes news from our members, legislative and Administration updates, as well as news clips about value-based care, primary care, and independent physicians. 

This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending September 11, 2020

 Revcycle Intelligence: (9/11) – In MedPAC’s session on telehealth last week, staff presenters discussed the idea of allowing clinicians participating in Advanced Alternative Payment Models to continue providing telehealth services to patients outside of rural areas and to patients in their homes, as a way to drive participation in APMs and increase payment rates for telehealth services. 

Health Payer Intelligence: (9/11) – As more health care leaders recognize the need to move towards value-based care, this article outlines four strategies needed to advance value-based care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Knox News: (9/10) – Nearly six months into the pandemic, many providers are having to deal with the consequences of delayed care as patients who have put off checkups,  vaccinations, and medication refills are now increasingly returning to primary care offices. 

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending September 4, 2020

found that independent, physician-owned practices adopted more quality improvement strategies than hospital-owned practices and community clinics.

Fierce Healthcare: (9/3) – In August, 2% of primary practices closed and another 2% of practices are considering bankruptcy. According to a recent survey, one in ten practices indicated that they were uncertain of their solvency for the coming month, with 20% of clinicians reported that they were considering leaving primary care.

Revcycle Intelligence: (9/2) – According to a new survey from the Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative, primary care practice management challenges continue, with many physicians facing increased clinician workloads, environmental threats, and a lack of resources.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending August 28, 2020

Revcycle Intelligence: (8/28) – Primary care practices are suffering losses of over $15 million because of COVID-19, but direct primary care physicians are reporting little change in revenue and better patient and clinical satisfaction.

Healthcare Dive: (8/28) – Minnesota hospital network Allina Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota have agreed to a multi-year, value-based pact intended to improve the care of patients and health plan enrollees and cut costs.

Modern Healthcare: (8/26) – Federal agencies delayed the finalization of the Stark law, with CMS and HHS commenting that they are working through the complexity of issues raised by comments received on the proposed rule. HHS and CMS has not announced if the Anti-Kickback Statute rulemaking process was also delayed.

VT Digger: (8/25) – Independent doctors are dropping out of the OneCare health-reform effort as the organization is cutting regular monthly payments to primary care practices starting next year, making it harder for independent physicians to survive.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending August 21, 2020

 Revcycle Intelligence: (8/21) – According to a new survey, approximately 16,000 independent physicians have closed their practice so far as a result of COVID-19, but 59% of physicians anticipate COVID-19 to reduce the number of closed practices will rise and independent physician practices in their communities will be shuttered. 

Modern Healthcare: (8/20) – A proposed bill in California would require the attorney general to sign off on any healthcare provider transaction exceeding $1 million, which would likely stifle mergers and acquisitions. 

CBS New York: (8/20) – Primary care doctors and clinics across the country face worrisome futures due to the long-lasting financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic as regulatory flexibilities and federal assistance ends. 

Healthcare Dive: (8/19) – A survey of 500 healthcare executives found that while the health care industry generally supports alternative payment models, the median percentage of revenue from contracts that linked payment to managing cost and quality was just 10%. 

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending August 14, 2020

Modern Healthcare(8/13)  – Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris has a history of cracking down on hospital mergers as California’s attorney general, which could indicate that a Biden administration could set a new precedent for the healthcare industry.

Health Leaders Media(8/13) – The proposed reforms for the Stark and Anti-Kickback rules are now under review at OMB, with the core proposals regarding value-based proposals confirming more regulatory details and reconciliations or harmonization of definitions that were left open in the proposed rule related to patient engagement tools and participation.

Revcycle Intelligence(8/12) – CMS has unveiled a new rural health model, the CHART Model, which will provide funding to rural providers and their communities to build value-based care systems and encourage ACO participation while also addressing rural health disparities.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending August 7, 2020

Medical Economics(8/7) – Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the consensus is that the pandemic will, in the long run, benefit ACOs and other value-based programs as many practices, including small practices, see the stability and benefit of moving towards capitation and quality bonuses.

Health Leaders Media(8/7) –According to a recent McKinsey and Co. survey, more than half of independent physicians reported being worried that their practice would not survive the pandemic, with about a third of respondents saying they were considering partnering with a larger entity, selling their practice, or becoming employed.

Healio(8/7) – Primary care practices are still experiencing significant strain amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 55% of physicians surveyed reporting a stress level of 4 or 5 out of five in the last week of July. 33% of physicians reported that their stress at the time of the survey was worse than in the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fierce Healthcare(8/6) – Families USA and United States of Care sent a letter asking Congress to direct $50 billion of COVID-19 relief funding to primary care, rural and safety-net hospitals, and alternative payment models. PEPC was a signatory on the letter.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending July 31, 2020

PEW Trusts(7/31) – As patient visits declined by over 70% during the pandemic for independent primary care physicians, many are worried about their ability to stay independent, their financial viability, and their safety as many are forced to use homemade PPE.

Fierce Healthcare(7/30) – Fewer than 10% of primary care practices have stabilized operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic according to this week’s Larry A. Green Center and PCC survey. 9 in 10 primary care practices continue to face significant difficulties during COVID-19, including obtaining medical supplies, meeting the increasing health needs of their patients, and finding sufficient resources to remain operational.

Forbes(7/30) – COVID-19 has shown the vital role that primary care clinicians play in keeping America healthy, especially for patients with chronic conditions. This article urges business owners, CEOs, or care providers to ensure that patients have access to primary care.

Becker’s Hospital Review(7/28) – 35% of Americans have visited primary care physicians since April, according to a recent survey, down 26 percentage points compared to the same survey conducted in December. The survey also found that 61% of respondents said they felt very or extremely comfortable visiting their primary care physician during the pandemic.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending July 24, 2020

Health Affairs(7/23) – Without swift action to safeguard independent primary care, the COVID-19 financial crisis could irrevocably change the composition of the nation’s health care system. The authors of this article argue that the pandemic presents to the opportunity to revisit how we value and pay for primary.

Healthcare Dive(7/23) – On Thursday, Secretary Azar extended the public health emergency for another 90 days, allowing a number of regulatory changes to help providers manage outbreaks of coronavirus to continue.

EHR Intelligence(7/22) – According to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, independent practices that are not connected to large health systems or quality improvement support reported their electronic clinical quality measures more quickly than those with larger organizational support.

Becker’s Spine Review(7/21) – According to a report from McKinsey, 53% of independent physicians are concerned about survival during the pandemic, and nearly half of the practices have less than four weeks of cash on hand. 68% of those practices are seeking partners for financial support.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending July 17, 2020

ABC 6: (7/16) – In Columbus, Ohio, a large number of people between ages 25 and 40 who test positive for COVID-19 don’t have a primary care doctor, putting strain on hospitals to pair patients with doctors and on the primary care physicians who now must manage an increased caseload of new patients. 

Becker’s Hospital Review: (7/15) – CVS Health launched a campaign called “Time for Care” to encourage Americans to seek primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Leaders Media: (7/15) – Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health System has proposed a seven-point plan featuring Primary Care for All, including capitated payments, quality measures, and risk adjustment to address racial disparities in healthcare.

Health Payer Intelligence: (7/15) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has announced a new payment model for small practices that combines value-based care and small practice financial support through a global payment, upside risk incentives, and immediate support payment.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending July 10, 2020

Health Leaders Media: (7/10) – Primary care physicians experience the highest level of burnout at 31% compared to other specialties. This article highlights ways to reduce anxiety and burnout at primary care practices with methods to improve the work environment to increase support, education, effective communication, and individual coaching.

Medical Economics: (7/10) – Patient volumes continue to stay at decreased levels, with recent data finding that only 31% of patients feel comfortable visiting their doctor’s office. Despite more patients embracing telehealth, 41% have delayed health care services and 38% intend to delay future care, treatment, and procedures.

Health Affairs: (7/9) – While the authors of this article support the creation of the Provider Relief Fund, they argue that the fund has disproportionately benefited a small number of large, financially sound providers, and instead the remaining money should be focused on avoiding outright closures, independent physicians practices, and other vulnerable providers that are risk of being acquired by hospitals or insurers.

Revcycle Intelligence: (7/9) – A new study found that standalone ACOs and patient-centered medical homes both saved money and reduced health care costs compared to standard care but combining the alternative payment and care delivery models did double the savings.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending July 2, 2020

Modern Healthcare: (7/1) – The FTC recently released new vertical merger guidelines, but experts in the health care world warn that the guidelines do not go far enough to prevent anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry.

Public News Service: (7/1) – Rural clinics in Kentucky have faced challenges providing primary care during COVID-19, with many rural health clinics primarily serving Medicaid recipients who also lack the reliable broadband capacity needed to conduct telehealth appointments.

Health Payer Intelligence: (6/30) – While value-based contracting was expected to pause during the pandemic, payers are increasingly expanding value-based contracting to support local independent primary care practices and their transition to value-based care.

Revcycle Intelligence: (6/30) – A new study in Health Affairs estimates that primary care practices will lose over $65,000 in revenue per full-time physician from March to May 2020, leading to a $15 billion hit for primary care practices from the early COVID-19 response.

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This Week in Physician-Led Care: Clips from News Sources

Week Ending June 26, 2020

Forbes: (6/26): The United States’ physician shortage could reach up to 139,000 doctors by 2033 with shortfalls specifically in primary care.

AJMC: (6/26) – A recent study found that primary care physicians stand to lose nearly $15 billion from revenue declines due to patient visits, with the average full-time primary care physician losing more than $67,000 in revenue. This final study will be published in the September Issue of Health Affairs.

Modern Healthcare: (6/24) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced that it will make lump sum payments to participating primary care practices in 2020 and 2021 to help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic and help them move into value-based payment arrangements.

Healthcare Finance: (6/24) – The Los Angeles Practice Transformation Network, a value-based program which was awarded a $16 million grant to implement CMS’s Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative five years ago, has helped it clinicians produce tens of millions of dollars in cost savings and meet numerous quality-improvement targets for Medi-Cal patients.

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