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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

Practice News

Get insight into customizing new payment models

An AMA webinar at 7 p.m. Eastern time Sept. 18 will explore how to design and implement a sustainable payment model that fits the individual physician's practice. Register today to participate.

As the last webinar in a seven-part series hosted by the AMA Innovators Committee, this webinar will provide the final piece of the puzzle for achieving a practice structure that fosters high-value care—both in care delivery and payment.

Physician innovators who have implemented successful payment reforms will share their insights into building the infrastructure and establishing the partnerships that enable physicians to create sustainable payment models for their particular circumstances.

Presenters will discuss how to use data to build hybrid models that employ the right mix of bundled payments, care management fees and fee for service and how to form partnerships with other physician groups, hospitals and payers that will lead to a successful payment model.

Physicians can earn continuing medical education credit in the form of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ by participating in or viewing any of the webinars in this series. Registration is free for AMA members; nonmembers can sign up for $30. If you're not an AMA member, join today.

Insurers' use of credit card payments could cost you

Payers that have been issuing credit card payments to practices in lieu of paper checks or depositing funds directly have been costing some physicians as much as 5 percent of their payments after transaction fees.

In a letter sent last month, the AMA urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates electronic billing transactions, to prohibit health insurers from paying physicians less than their contracted rates when using electronic payment methods. Many insurers have begun issuing payment in the form of plastic and virtual credit cards that give them cash-back incentives.

"Physicians across the country are being subjected to unfair credit card transaction fees," the letter states. "[T]he AMA has received numerous complaints from physicians reporting increased administrative burdens for their practices, unanticipated reductions in payment through increased banking transaction fees and no meaningful opportunity to choose an alternate form of payment."

The letter also asks CMS to encourage payers to adopt new electronic funds transfer standards that can simplify administrative processes in advance of the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline.

Read more in a recent article in American Medical News.