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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Preserving Access to Value Based Care Act.

This bipartisan legislation ensures health care providers through Medicare continue to commit to value-based models, or Alternative Payment Models (APMs). This program reimburses providers for the quality of care, rather than the number of services they provide. Physicians who participate in APMs overwhelmingly agree that value-based care delivers high quality care.

This bill will extend the five percent advanced APM incentive payment for providers for an additional two years. The bill also ensures that qualification thresholds remain at attainable levels for practices that participate in Medicare’s advanced APMs. This incentive-based payment is set to expire at the end of 2022 if Congress does not extend the program.

“As a doctor, I know how critical it is for Medicare to meet the health care needs of American seniors. There is agreement on both sides of the aisle that Alternative Payment Models (APMs) are a key solution to help more seniors receive better care at a lower cost,” said Senator Barrasso. “Our bipartisan legislation will ensure this incentive program continues to help provide the highest quality care for seniors across the country.”

“Rhode Island’s accountable care organizations have been national leaders at improving patient care and lowering costs. Medicare has earned back millions from their success,” said Senator Whitehouse. “We need to encourage more health care innovation – not pull the rug out from under the people who are making the system work better for everyone. There is strong bipartisan support for our proposal to allow these providers to continue delivering high-quality coordinated care.”

“These critical incentives Congress created, which expire at the end of the year, have been instrumental to fuel the transition to value-based care, which provides patients and our health system with better outcomes and higher quality care. We thank Sen. Barrasso and Sen. Whitehouse for their leadership and look forward to working with lawmakers to extend these critical incentives that help clinicians invest in their practices and expand care beyond traditional fee-for-service.” ¬– Clif Gaus, Sc.D., President and CEO of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS)

“With each passing year, it becomes more urgent to provide physicians with greater opportunities to participate in Alternative Payment Models (APMs) when they can improve quality and value for patients while reducing burdens on physicians and practices. While it’s also important to maintain a viable fee-for-service option, the burdensome Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) contributes to physician burnout by requiring physicians to annually spend about $12,800 and more than 200 hours of staff time on compliance instead of patient care. A robust set of APMs is crucial to alleviating this burden. We applaud Sens. Whitehouse and Barrasso for this common-sense bill to extend the APM incentive payments for two years and permit physicians to gradually increase their degree of participation in value-based care models.” – American Medical Association President Jack Resneck Jr., M.D.