Policy Update: Primary Care First Acceptance Letters and Aledade’s Final Comments on the 2022 PFS
October 7, 2021

Our minds are on those affected by Hurricane Ida. Our team member, Hannah Eichelbaum,
evacuated safely from her home in New Orleans and Travis’s family in Slidell and Covington is
safe on the Northshore. Reports from the Louisiana team are that several practices have damage, one extensively, although we are still gathering information on other practices due to the communication blackouts that Ida caused. Several Aledade staff are temporarily relocated or
without power. Policy-wise nearly everything that comes with an emergency is already in place
due to COVID, though a separate PHE was announced due to Ida for Louisiana and Mississippi.
The Louisiana team wants you to know that sadly they are quite experienced with this and are
helping practices through this disaster. They are grateful for all the support and are very
resilient and tenacious in returning to our daily activities as soon as possible.

2022 Physician Fee Schedule Comments due Sept 13

We are putting the finishing touches on Aledade’s comments. These comments are impactful and we put a lot of work into them. The main issues are:

  • Supporting the increased valuation of E&M reimbursements. Due to the expiring stimulus from COVID, E&M payments will be down 1% or so, but the relative valuation of E&M to procedures continues to improve.
  • Keeping telehealth flexibilities in place and preparing for the future of telehealth. Shawn Martin, CEO of AAFP, said on the ACO Show, Aledade’s podcast, that the pandemic fast-forwarded our telehealth progression ten years. We have to fast forward policy as well.
  • Improving both quality measurement and benchmarking in MSSP to build on the program’s success in 2020 for the future.
  • Integrating efforts to increase health equity into value-based models.

We welcome your input to inform our comments.

Provider Relief Fund Updates – Still a Month, but Last Call in this Email

As we transition to a monthly format as policy pace gets somewhat back to normal, the deadline
for reporting will pass before you hear from us again so here is one last reminder: Any practice
that received more than $10,000 from the Provider Relief Fund between April 10, 2020 and June
30, 2020 must submit a report to HHS detailing the use of these funds by September 30, 2021.
You can check whether this applies to you by looking for your practice here. The portal for
reporting can be found here as well as a detailed video and guide on how to submit the report.
There is also a list of allowable expenses under different categories. If you have any questions
feel free to reach out to us or contact HHS’ support line at 866-569-3522.

Primary Care First Acceptance Letters Out – Action Needed

If you applied to PCF, you should have received your final acceptance letter. You need a letter of
support from the ACO, which we are glad to provide — just let us or your field team know you got
your acceptance letter and are planning on participating. Hat tip to the policy team member, Britainy Barnes, whose projections on PCF revenue appear to have been spot on.

Thank you for everything you are doing and please stay safe.