KMS expresses concern over SGR fix
The committees in Congress that are responsible for the Medicare program have released a draft blueprint for repealing the flawed SGR formula, which has been one of organized medicine's highest priorities for several years. Though SGR is long overdue for repeal, the draft blueprint for reforming physician payment under Medicare is very complex and presents some cause for concern. In brief, the proposal would:
- freeze physician payment levels for 10 years
- replace fee for service with "alternative payment models" that involve bundling payments
- combine existing quality and resource-use incentive payment programs in a new Value-Based Performance Program (VBP)
- require public posting of quality and resource use data on physicians
KMS has contacted the Kansas congressional delegation to express strong concerns over parts of the draft proposal, particularly the ten-year freeze on physician fees. KMS believes that freezing Medicare payments for the coming decade will have very serious consequences for the viability of many physician practices in Kansas, particularly in rural areas. KMS also expressed concern that the fee for service model needed to remain a viable option, as alternative payment models may not be feasible in all areas or workable for all specialties (Complete statement available here). A sample of KMS' letter to the Congressional delegation can be found here.
KMS opens nominations for new Board of Trustees
As members may recall, in May the KMS House of Delegates established a new nominations and elections process for KMS officers. Under the new process, the Nominating Committee will seek and consider recommendations for nominees from the general membership, component/county societies and specialty societies.
The Committee is charged with the task of nominating candidates who possess the integrity, skills and commitment necessary to enable the Board to properly exercise its governance and oversight role in the best interests of the Society. In making its nominations the Committee is directed to work towards a Board composition that is broadly representative of the Society membership, particularly in experience, geographic location, specialty and practice type. Physicians nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees must be members-in-good standing of KMS and their county medical society.
The online nomination form is available here. KMS members may be nominated by a colleague, component/county medical society or state specialty society; self-nominations will also be accepted.