Recognizing the importance of independent physician practices in bringing about the movement to value-based health care, a group of leading health care organizations have joined together to form the Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care (PEPC).
The founding members of PEPC are: Aledade, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), California Medical Association (CMA), Florida Medical Association, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and Texas Medical Association/PracticeEdge.
PEPC is dedicated to supporting value-based care to reduce costs, improve quality, empower patients and physicians, and increase access to care for millions of Americans through a competitive health care provider market. The organization will focus on education and advocacy to urge action on four policy priorities: advancing physician-led alternative payment models; ensuring an equitable policy framework that promotes choice and provider competition; creating new opportunities for physicians in commercial markets such as Medicare Advantage; and supporting consumer-directed care.
"We believe it is impossible to achieve truly value-based care without a robust independent practice community," said Kristen McGovern, PEPC's Executive Director. "Our goal is to ensure that independent practices are recognized as a vital part of the health care system and are given a clear path to continue to contribute to this transformation."
Independent physicians make up almost half of the physician workforce. However, too often the significant role they play in leading the movement to value-based care is overlooked. Many stakeholders don't realize that independent practices are able to take risk for their patients, or that independent practices can lead alternative payment models like accountable care organizations (ACOs), often providing higher quality care and generating more savings than other types of models.
For example, a report on the Medicare Shared Savings Program found that nearly half (45 percent) of physician only ACOs earned savings, and that they were significantly more likely to do so than other types of ACOs.
As we strive to transform our health care system, it is critically important for policymakers and stakeholders to hear the voices of independent practices on the front lines of care and to ensure that a range of practice arrangements - including independent practice - are allowed to flourish.
"While our delivery system may have changed in recent years, one thing continues to ring true - family physicians play a central role in improving health care for individuals, families, and communities across the country," said Michael Munger, MD, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "Physicians and physician-led groups are leading the movement to value-based care."
"Value-based care models should be calibrated for physicians regardless of their mode of practice," said Dustin Corcoran, CEO of CMA. "We look forward to providing physicians with the support and innovation needed to make a successful transition to value-based care and maximize healthy outcomes for their patients and communities."
"Independent doctors are often very tied into their communities, working with patients on the frontlines," said Tim Stapleton, CEO of Florida Medical Association. "These are exactly the types of providers who should be the center of the health care system of the future."
"Independent practices play a critical role in the health care system, affording many physicians autonomy and flexibility to make decisions that are best for their patients," said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, CMPE, President and CEO, Medical Group Management Association. "We look forward to working with PEPC to ensure that the independent practice is a viable option for those who seek it."
"Independent physicians in Texas are being increasingly squeezed by regulatory burdens and rapid provider consolidation," said Lou Goodman, CEO of TMA PracticeEdge. "We are pleased to join PEPC to help relieve this pressure so our physicians can get back to caring for their patients."
About the Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care
The Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care (PEPC) is a membership organization dedicated to supporting value-based care to reduce costs, improve quality, empower patients and physicians, and increase access to care for millions of Americans through a competitive health care provider market. We believe that it is impossible to achieve truly value-based care without a robust independent practice community. PEPC represents independent physician practices pursuing value-based care, and those organizations and associations that support them. Our current members include Aledade, American Academy of Family Physicians, California Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Medical Group Management Association, and Texas Medical Association/PracticeEdge. PEPC