Secretary Azar Responds to Alternative Payment Model Proposals

June 21, 2018
Health Policy

Last week, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar responded to a number of Alternative Payment Model (APM) proposals recommended by the Physician-Focused Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). While the secretary felt very positive about PTAC’s work, he rejected the proposals that were submitted. He noted that the majority of recommendations were for “limited-scale” testing and lacked enough data to estimate costs and savings or the size of penalties that doctors would have to pay for poor performance. Despite the overall negative response, Secretary Azar expressed particular interest in two end-of-life/serious illness APMs that were submitted by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (CTAC). While the proposals were submitted separately, Secretary Azar stated that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is interested in developing a payment model in this area.

The Society sent a support letter for the AAHPM proposal and has put together a workgroup focused on the development of an APM for PALTC-based clinicians. Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy to work with the Society and other stakeholders to develop an APM for PALTC.

To read the full report from the secretary, please visit https://downloads.cms.gov/files/cmmi/ptac-hhssecresponse-oct17-may18.pdf.

Last week, the PTAC also announced that it is canceling its June meeting since there are no pending proposals up for vote. The next meeting is scheduled for September.

For more information about the PTAC, please visit https://aspe.hhs.gov/ptac-physician-focused-payment-model-technical-advisory-committee.