MAG one of more than 70 groups calling for meeting to address MOC reform

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is one of more than 70 physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that was sent to the American Board of American Specialties (ABAS) to express physicians’ concerns surrounding maintenance of certification (MOC) process.

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Support MAG’s CEO as he runs 100 miles to combat distracted driving

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging member physicians and other individuals and corporate sponsors to support MAG Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. with a tax-deductible donation when he participates in the 100-mile ‘Javelina Jundred’ trail run in Arizona on October 28-29 to raise funds for a campaign that the MAG Foundation is developing to reduce distracted driving in the state.

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‘Top Docs’ show to address the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign

The next MAG ‘Top Docs Radio’ program – which will air at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22 – will address the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign in Georgia.

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Northside and Gwinnett Health System announce plans to merge

Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System (the parent of Gwinnett Medical Center) announced today that they have submitted their proposed merger agreement to the State of Georgia Office of the Attorney General for review and approval. Depending on the review process, the five-hospital Northside-Gwinnett Health combined system could be operational in early 2018.

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CMS announces proposed rule related to CJR model

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to reduce the number of mandatory geographic areas participating in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (Innovation Center) Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model from 67 to 34. In addition, CMS proposes to allow CJR participants in the 33 remaining areas to participate on a voluntary basis. In this rule, CMS also proposes to make participation in the CJR model voluntary for all low volume and rural hospitals in all of the CJR geographic areas.

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Rep. Scott to host free health fair in Jonesboro

U.S. Rep David Scott will host a health fair for his constituents from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 19 at Mundy’s Mill High School in Jonesboro. The event will feature free “breast cancer screenings, prostate cancer exams, HIV testing, blood pressure checks, blood donation, body mass index, dental, glucose, kidney function tests, cholesterol, orthopedic, spinal, general vision, glaucoma…”

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MAG promoting physicians caucus reception

The Medical Association of Georgia is encouraging physicians in the state to attend the ‘First Annual Physicians Caucus Reception,’ which will take place at The Georgian Club in Atlanta from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12.

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AMA promoting new Medicare QPP tools

As physicians across the country prepare for the first comprehensive changes in Medicare payment in three decades, the American Medical Association (AMA) is unveiling new resources to encourage and simplify participation in the program. The new, customizable MIPS Action Plan will help physicians pursue the right course of action for their practice, take recommended steps to meet program requirements, and measure their performance against important milestones. The AMA also released a short video, entitled ‘One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting.’

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MAG encouraging physicians, staff to register for free PDMP webinar

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging physicians and applicable practice staff to register for a free ‘Physicians' Best Practices for PDMP Review Before Prescribing Opioids’ webinar that Alliant Quality will host from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6.

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‘Top Docs’ show on cancer care now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that featured J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D. – the deputy chief medical officer in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer with the American Cancer Society (ACS) – discussing advancements in cancer care is now available online.

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GEMA encouraging Georgians to get solar glasses to view eclipse

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) has issued an alert that addresses the eclipse of the sun that will take place on Monday, August 21.

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Media report: 'Medical board sending Georgia’s doctors to opioid training'

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that, "Every doctor in Georgia must get training on proper prescribing of opioids under a rule approved Thursday morning by the Georgia Composite Medical Board."

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MAG’s CEO elected to AAMSE Board of Directors

The American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) installed a new president and board members at its annual conference in Minneapolis.

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GCT2 to host free opioid safety webinar on 8/23

The Georgia Clinical Transformation Team (GCT2) is encouraging physicians and applicable practice staff to register for a free ‘Opioid Safety and the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain’ webinar that it will host from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23.

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Remember to make plans for MAG’s House of Delegates meeting

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Save the Date

October 20

Media report: 'Anthem takes harder line on ER visits'

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that, "Frustrated that people are continuing to show up at the emergency room with problems that aren’t life-threatening, Anthem Inc., Indiana’s largest health insurer, is pushing a new message: Save the ER for emergencies, or you’ll be responsible for the cost, which could easily run to thousands of dollars."

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Media report: 'Is Anthem's ER policy legal? Health executives want [Missouri] insurance director to weigh in'

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that, "A few health care industry executives have sent a letter to Missouri’s insurance director, asking her to take a 'hard and earnest look' at Anthem’s emergency room policy and whether it is legal."

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Georgia PHP: Helping physicians & PAs for five years

The Georgia Professional Health Program (Georgia PHP) is pleased to announce our five-year anniversary. This month we celebrate five years of continuous service to physicians, physician assistants and respiratory therapists in Georgia. By helping our health care providers, we are improving the health of everyone who receives medical care in our state.

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Expert M.D. to address progress in cancer care on ‘Top Docs Radio’

J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D. – the deputy chief medical officer in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer with the American Cancer Society (ACS) – will address advancements in cancer care when he appears on the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.

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Media report: 'Blue Cross agrees to stay in counties where there’s no other exchange option'

Georgia Health News is reporting that, "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has agreed to offer coverage in the state insurance exchange in the 85 counties that will have no other health plans in 2018."

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AMA: Physicians should 'act now' to avoid penalties/succeed in MIPS

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging physicians to take advantage of free resources that it developed to help them succeed under Medicare’s new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This includes a short ‘One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting’ video and a web page that features a sample CMS-1500 claim form, links to quality measures on the CMS web site, and a link to the CMS MIPS eligibility tool.

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MAG one of 130+ groups calling for Congress to oppose audiology scope bill

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of 132 organizations that signed a letter that was sent to congressional leaders to urge them to oppose H.R. 2276, a bill that would “inappropriately provide audiologists with unlimited direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral and amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to include audiologists in the definition of ‘physician.’”

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MAG mourning loss of past president Milton Johnson, M.D.

The Medical Association of Georgia is mourning the loss of Milton I. Johnson, M.D., who served its president in 1977-1978. Dr. Johnson passed away on Friday, July 28. A memorial service will take place at the First Presbyterian Church at 682 Mulberry Street in Macon at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2.

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AMA, ADA, CDC & Ad Council launch prediabetes campaign

The American Medical Association (AMA) has teamed up with the American Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ad Council to sponsor a prediabetes public service campaign.

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‘Top Docs’ show on CareSource Medicaid CMO now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that featured two of the leaders from one of Georgia’s Medicaid care management organizations is now available online.

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AMA: 'Relieved Senate did not adopt legislation that would have harmed patients'

The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following outline

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AMA urges Senators to consider impact to Americans during health care debate

“During consideration of proposals related to the Affordable Care Act, the American Medical Association urges Senators to consider the impact their votes will have on the health of all Americans. Their efforts must not increase the number of Americans without health insurance, further weaken the individual insurance market, undermine critical safety net programs, or make it harder for low and moderate income Americans to obtain quality, affordable health insurance.

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PAI’s QPP Resource Center

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) recently activated a free ‘QPP Resource Center’ for physicians.

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MAG carefully watching health care legislation

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted to take up the debate of the American Health Care Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May, to replace the Affordable Care Act.

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Media report: 'Pence breaks tie, Senate takes up health bill'

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that, "The Senate has voted to move ahead on health care legislation aimed at dismantling the Obama health law."

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AMA suggests ways to improve AHCA

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently sent a letter to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to respond to his request for health care organizations to suggest ways to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4.

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DPH: NPI required for PDMP registration/access

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is advising physicians that they must have a ‘National Provider Identifier’ (NPI) number before they can register for and access Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

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AMA urges Senate to reject efforts to repeal or replace ACA

The American Medical Association distributed the following press release

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AMA calls for Anthem to rescind ER policy

American Medical Association Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, M.D., has sent a letter to Anthem, Inc. President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish to share AMA’s concerns about “Anthem’s policy in several states (including Georgia) to deny coverage of many emergency services when the diagnosis is retrospectively determined not to have required emergency care…(and to) ask that Anthem rescind this policy in states where it has taken effect, and halt implementation in all other states.”

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Media report: 'Health care overhaul collapses as two republican senators defect'

The New York Times reported Tuesday that, "Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement."

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AMA responds to CMS fee schedule update

The American Medical Association (AMA) responded today to policies outlined last week in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) physician fee schedule proposed rule. The AMA finds a number of positive proposed changes that would improve patient care and save taxpayer dollars.

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Compass PTN to host 'learning' meeting in Augusta

The Compass PTN has issued a save-the-date for a ‘Community Annual Learning Meeting’ that it will host at the Augusta Riverfront Marriott from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, August 11.

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MAG calls for Blue Cross to disclose data it used as basis for retrospective ER policy

The president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is calling for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to disclose the data it used as the basis for its new policy to reject claims for care that patients who obtained their insurance through a federal ‘HealthCare’ exchange plan receive in an emergency room if the company retrospectively determines it was not an emergency.

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Alliant Quality promoting free QRUR webinar

Alliant Quality – Medicare’s Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization in Georgia – is encouraging physicians and applicable practice staff to register for a free ‘Understanding Cost in MACRA (aka Quality Payment Program) through your personalized Quality Resource Use Report (QRUR)’ webinar from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2.

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MAG ‘Top Docs’ show on opioid abuse now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that addressed the steps that the American Medical Association (AMA) is taking to address the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic is now available online.

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Media report: 'Compare Proposals to Replace The Affordable Care Act'

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has published a chart of Affordable Care Act replacement proposals.

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AMA: Revised Senate bill 'does not address key concerns'

The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following statement that is attributable to its president, David O. Barbe, M.D., on July 14…

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Media report: 'New Senate bill retains Medicaid cuts, provides more money to stabilize individual market'

Modern Healthcare reported today that, "A revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act retains significant cuts to Medicaid, despite the protest— and defection—of Republican centrists."

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Media report: 'Dr. Rob Schreiner tapped to lead WellStar Medical Group'

Modern Healthcare recently reported that, "WellStar Health System has named Dr. Rob Schreiner executive vice president and president of WellStar Medical Group."

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Physicians Foundation highlights “essential” health care values

The Physicians Foundation has released the summer, 2017 edition of its ‘E-New

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Gov. Deal names interim DPH commissioner

Following President Trump’s appointment of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald [M.D.] to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gov. Nathan Deal today named J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., as interim commissioner at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Prior to this role, which takes effect immediately, Dr. O’Neal served as the director of health protection at DPH.

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Media report: 'Trump administration names Georgia health official as new CDC director'

The Washington Post has reported that, "The Trump administration has named Georgia Public Health Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald as the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the most crucial public health positions in the U.S. government given the agency's role in tracking and stopping infectious disease outbreaks nationally and globally."

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AMA addresses CDC report showing drop in opioid prescribing

The American Medical Association released the following statement on July 6 that addresses a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘Vital Signs: Changes in Opioid Prescribing in the United States, 2006–2015’ report that shows that opioid prescribing in the U.S. is down. The statement is attributable to Patrice Harris, M.D., MA, the immediate past chair of AMA’s Board of Trustees and the chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force.

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DCH: Georgia Families program now has four CMO options

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced that, “As of July 1, 2017, the Georgia Families® program provides members a choice of four care management organizations (CMOs): Amerigroup, CareSource, Peach State Health Plan, and WellCare.”

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MAG CEO discusses concerns over BCBS ER policy on WABE

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. addressed MAG’s concerns surrounding a new Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia policy not to cover non-emergency care that a patient elects to receive in an emergency room (ER) following a retrospective review in an interview with WABE 90.1 Radio ‘Morning Edition’ host Denis O’Hayer that aired on June 29.

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AMA applauds House for passing medical liability bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) today applauded House passage of H.R. 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017.”

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AMA/KPMG survey finds <25% of physicians feel 'well prepared' for quality reporting

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) promises to reshape how Medicare pays physicians under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Yet a survey of 1,000 practicing physicians who have been involved in practice decision-making related to QPP shows that fewer than one in four physicians feel well prepared to meet its requirements in 2017, according to a survey by American Medical Association (AMA) and KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

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AMA: Much of 2018 QPP proposal based on its input

The American Medical Association (AMA) says that a lot of the policies that are included in the proposed final Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule for the 2018 performance year that was recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are based on AMA’s recommendations.

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AMA opposing Senate health care bill

The American Medical Association distributed the following press release

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Media report: 'Senate health care bill debuts in uncertain environment'

Georgia Health News is reporting that, "The U.S. Senate has unveiled its much-anticipated legislation to unravel the Affordable Care Act, releasing a proposal Thursday that has some key differences from the House health care overhaul."

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Recording of WH commission call on opioid abuse now online

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that a recording of a recent teleconference that President Donald Trump’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis conducted is now available online.

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AMA commends CMS for QPP proposals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would “make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)…[the] goal is to simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care within Medicare.

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MAG encouraging Georgians to act on BCBS ER policy

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians who have a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBS) policy that they purchased through the federal ‘HealthCare’ exchange to research how the insurer’s policy not to cover non-emergency care that a patient elects to receive in an emergency room (ER) following a retrospective review will affect them and their family members.

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Watch AMA video on how to avoid Medicare pay penalty

The American Medical Association (AMA) has produced a short video – ‘One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting’ – that “offers step-by-step instructions on how to report [on the new Medicare Quality Payment Program] so physicians can avoid a negative four percent payment adjustment in 2019.”

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CMS to issue new Medicare cards

Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Through this initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and protect essential program funding and the private health care and financial information of our Medicare beneficiaries.

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AMA releases summary of 'top stories' from annual meeting

The American Medical Association has released a summary of the “top stories” from its 2017 annual meeting, which took place in Chicago on June 10-14.

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MAG ‘Top Docs’ show with Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, M.D., now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that featured Kay Kirkpatrick, M.D. – who won a May 16 runoff election for the Georgia Senate District 32 to become the fifth physician to serve in the current General Assembly – is now available online. She discussed her legislative goals and her views on health care reform.

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MAG files pro-physician brief in statute of limitations case

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has filed an amicus brief to support 24 On Physicians, P.C., (Jeffrey Mitchell, M.D.) and Alunda E. Hunt, M.D., in a wrongful death lawsuit that will be considered by the Georgia Court of Appeals in which the plaintiffs (a father and his daughter) allege a patient (their wife and mother) suffered brain injuries and died of hypoglycemic shock as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

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Georgia QIN-QIO promoting antibiotic stewardship program

Adrienne Mims, M.D., the vice president and chief medical officer of Medicare

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AMA launches ‘End the [opioid abuse] epidemic’ web page

The American Medical Association (AMA) has launched an ‘End the Epidemic’ web page that is focused on “reversing the nation’s opioid [abuse] epidemic.”

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PAI unveils MACRA QPP resource center

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) recently unveiled a ‘MACRA QPP Physician Education Initiative’ – a “new, PAI website-based resource center [that is] live and available to medical associations and physicians across the nation.”

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AMA chair responds to AJC article

American Medical Association Board of Trustees Chair Patrice A. Harris, M.D., submitted the following letter to the editor to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to respond to an article – ‘AMA tackles sex abuse – of doctors, by doctors’ – that appeared in the AJC on June 5.

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Report: 'Hospitalizations, deaths possibly tied to street drugs being sold in Georgia'

The Georgia Department of Public Health issued the following press releas

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MAG member sworn into office as state senator

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, M.D. (R - Marietta) was officially sworn into her first term as a Georgia State Senator during a ceremony at the State Capitol today.

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ACEP: New Blue Cross Blue Shield ER policy violates federal law

The American College of Emergency Physicians and its Georgia Chapter distributed the following press release on June 1…

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Georgia SC rules in favor of MAG, physicians in key case

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Resurgens Orthopaedics and Tapan K. Daftari, M.D., in a case that involved a patient who maintains that a lower court erred when it excluded the testimony of a nurse – a “surprise witness” – who worked at the hospital where he says he received negligent care that led to him to become paralyzed from the waist down.

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BCBS says it won’t cover non-emergency ER visits starting 7/1

According to an article that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) on May 31, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBS) has sent a letter to its customers advising them that “starting July 1 it would no longer cover non-emergency visits to emergency rooms.”

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DPH promoting ‘Immunize Georgia’ conference

The Georgia Department of Public Health is encouraging physicians to make plans to attend its annual ‘Immunize Georgia’ conference, which will take place at the Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center on Friday, September 15.

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AMA: Less than 50% of patient care physicians have stake in practice

Less than half of patient care physicians had an ownership stake in their medical practice, according to a newly updated study on physician practice arrangements by the American Medical Association (AMA). This marks the first time that physician practice owners fell below a majority portion of the nation’s patient care physicians since the AMA began documenting practice arrangement trends.

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CMS unveils 2017 MIPS participation status tool

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting the availability of an interactive tool that will enable physicians to determine if they should participate in the Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017.

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Gov. vetoes PA hydrocodone bill, signs/issues order on eye care bill

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed nine of the bills that passed during the 2017 legislative session, including “Senate Bill 125 [which would have authorized] physicians to delegate their authority to prescribe hydrocodone compound products to physician assistants.”

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AMA report: Opioid prescriptions dropped 17% from 2012 to 2016

The American Medical Association has released a new ‘Physicians’ progress to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic’ report that says that, “Between 2012 and 2016, the number of opioid prescriptions decreased by more than 43 million – a 16.9 percent decrease nationally. Every state saw a decrease in opioid prescriptions during this time period.”

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MAG among groups calling for SSNRI adjustment

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is one of a number of physician groups that signed a letter that was sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) to express concern over the planned enactment of the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI).

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MAG delivers great results during 2017 General Assembly

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) enjoyed another exemplary state legislative session in 2017, according to MAG President Steven M. Walsh, M.D., and MAG Council on Legislation (COL) Chair W. Scott Bohlke, M.D.

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Don't forget to register for MAG’s ‘Legislative Education Seminar’

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding its members to register for MAG’s 2017 ‘Legislative Education Seminar,’ which will take place at the Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris on the evening of Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24.

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MAG encouraging physicians to review H.B. 249/PDMP overview

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging every physician in the state to review the following summary of H.B. 249, an omnibus bill by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) that Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law on May 4. The bill is designed to address opioid abuse in the state. Note that the bill’s provisions will go into effect at different times.

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Gov. Deal signs MOC bill into law

On May 8, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that will prevent the state’s Medical Practice Act from being used to require Maintenance of Certification (MOC) as a condition of licensure or to require MOC to be employed by a state medical facility or for the purposes of licensure, insurance panels, or malpractice insurance.

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Gov. Deal signs bills to combat Rx drug abuse

Georgia Gov.

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AMA president weighs in after House passes AHCA

The American Medical Association distributed the following press release by its president, Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act on May 4…

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Claims experts say to be on lookout for increase in denials

MedRevenue Solutions, LLC’s Karlene Dittrich, a certified ERISA/PPACA claims recovery and appeal specialist, is encouraging medical practices to “keep an eye out for an increase in claim denials, audit attempts, and refund demands involving [Anthem and Cigna Corp.] and to take action to protect your revenue of any potential attempts made to recover their unexpected financial losses” in light of a recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a lower court ruling that blocked the two insurers from merging on “grounds that the combination would harm competition, particularly in the national employer market.”

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MGMA flagging CMS Medicare/MIPS eligibility letters

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is alerting medical practices that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has “begun mailing letters to Medicare enrolled practices with MIPS eligibility information for the 2017 performance year.”

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AMA applauds ruling to uphold rejection of Anthem-Cigna merger

The American Medical Association (AMA) today applauded the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upholding a lower court ruling halting the proposed $54 billion mega insurance merger between Anthem and Cigna.

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Data shows retail opioid Rx filled down in every state

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released data from QuintilesIMS that shows that the number of retail opioid analgesic prescriptions that were filled in the U.S. dropped in every state during the 2013-2016 timeframe.

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AMA calling on physicians to promote safe opioids use, storage & disposal

The American Medical Association (AMA) Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse released today new recommendations for physicians to promote safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription opioids. These new recommendations are part of the Task Force’s ongoing efforts to empower and enable physicians to take steps that can help reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic.

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AMA outlines Medicare QPP recommendations

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released a document that outlines a series of recommendations that it is promoting to improve the Quality Payment Program (QPP) that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

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Physicians Foundation releases 2016 review

The Physicians Foundation recently released its ‘Year-End Review: Physicians Foundation 2016 Initiatives’ report – which features a column by Physicians Foundation President and Medical Association of Georgia member Walker Ray, M.D., as well as the results of national, 2016 patient and physician surveys.

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AMA promoting 'modernized' code of ethics

In 1847, physicians representing 22 states and the District of Columbia came together to establish America’s first national professional association for physicians, the American Medical Association (AMA).

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AMA expresses opposition to AHCA in letter to Congress

The American Medical Association (AMA) has sent a letter to Congressional leaders to express its opposition to the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), which is scheduled for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow, Thursday, March 23.

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MAG urging administration to minimize MU/PQRS/VM penalties

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of nearly 90 physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that was sent the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to urge the Trump administration to take steps to “minimize the penalties assessed for physicians who tried to participate in the [Meaningful Use, Physician Quality Reporting System, and Value-based payment modifier] programs.”

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Press Release: 'MAG opposing S.B. 8 substitute that would undermine ER care in Georgia'

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians to contact the members of the Georgia House of Representatives’ Rules Committee to urge them to oppose substitute language for S.B. 8, a bill that was originally designed to protect patients by closing the “surprise health insurance coverage gap” in emergency care settings.

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CMS streamlining ICD-10 resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that. “To streamline [physician] access to resources, [it] has merged all up-to-date content from [its] ‘Road to 10’ website [with its] main ICD-10 site, www.cms.gov/ICD10.’

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ACS addresses AHCA concerns in letter to lawmakers

The American College of Surgeons has sent a letter to congressional leaders to express its “concern with some of the language included in the [American Health Care Act], which is the legislation introduced by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

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AHCA: Summary, budget estimates & next steps

The following summary was written by Julius Hobson, Cybil Roehrenbeck and

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AMA urges DOJ to reject offers to settle Anthem-CIGNA litigation

The American Medical Association (AMA) has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (JOJ) to express its alarm “regarding recent statements by Anthem, made in the Delaware Court of Chancery, asserting that the company expects to close its merger transaction with CIGNA through ‘resolution with a new DOJ.’”

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Press Release: Georgia House HHS chair says eye care bills 'wrong and dangerous' on ‘Top Docs Radio’

Georgia Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) – the chair of the Georgia House of Representatives Health and Human Services Committee – said she believes that two bills state lawmakers are now considering would place Georgians at risk of blindness and other serious eye complications when she appeared on a special edition of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network on February 23.

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DPH issues standing order for naloxone prescriptions

Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., has issued a standing that authorizes pharmacies to “dispense naloxone in any of the forms [that are outlined in Exhibit A of the standing order).”

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AMA issues statement on Anthem-Cigna court ruling

The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following statement that is attributable to AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., on February 8…

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DPH issues phone survey scam warning

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says that is has received complaints from residents of Georgia and other states who have received suspicious phone calls that are related to a health care survey that appear to come from a DPH phone number.

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MAG promoting ‘End the Surprise Insurance Gap’ video

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging physicians and medical practice staff across the state to promote a new ‘End the Surprise Insurance Gap’ video with their patients and thru any social media channels.

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Dr. Fonda Mitchell makes the case for GAMPAC (video)

Given the historic 2016 elections, it has never been more important for us, as physicians, to be united in our advocacy efforts in Georgia.

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MAG president says ruling to block Aetna-Humana merger 'great news'

A federal judge has blocked the pending Aetna-Humana merger, an action Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) President Steven M. Walsh, M.D., described as “great news for both patients and physicians.”

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ACEP president weighs in on 'surprise' medical bills

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has released a statement to respond to media coverage that is related to a letter that addressed “surprise” medical bills that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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MAG files amicus brief to support physician, Resurgens

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) has filed an amicus brief to support Resurgens Orthopaedics and Tapan K. Daftari, M.D., in a case that has been appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

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CMS releases key 2017 Medicare QPP benchmark information

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted key information on the Medicare Merit-Based Payment System (MIPS) on the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) website.

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DEA reverses decision on registration renewal process

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reversed a decision that it recently announced and will not allow “a grace period for registrants who [fail] to file a timely renewal application [beginning on January 1, 2017].”

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Georgia removes naloxone from list of dangerous drugs

At the request of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia Board of Pharmacy has approved an emergency rule to remove naloxone – which can be used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses – from the list of dangerous drugs in the state and to change its classification to an exempt, Schedule V drug.

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AMA: DEA changing registration renewal process

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it will change its registration renewal process in “significant” ways.

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AMA issues statement on VA rule on APRNs

The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following statement – which can be attributed to AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. – on December 13…

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Physicians Foundation highlights biennial survey results

The Physicians Foundation President Walker Ray, M.D., highlighted the key findings of its ‘2016 Biennial Physician Survey’ – which represents the views of 17,000 physicians from across the U.S. – in the winter 2016 edition of its ‘E-Newsletter.’

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Video of AMA/MAG/CMS QPP session now online

A video recording of the educational session that the Medical Association of Georgia co-hosted with the American Medical Association, the Medical Association of Atlanta, the Cobb County Medical Society, and the DeKalb Medical Society in Atlanta on December 1 that addressed Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program (QPP) is now available online.

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Georgia DOI issues directive on preventive colorectal screenings

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has issued a directive that addresses in-network preventive care services (in the context of the Affordable Care Act) that says that “all services directly related to a preventive colonoscopy, including an associated facility, anesthesia, pathology, polyp removal, physician fees, and pre-operative examination and consultation, are to be provided with no member, subscriber or insured cost sharing.”

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GAMPAC supports 150 candidates in 2016

GAMPAC has released a list of the 150 candidates that it supported with campaign contributions during the primary and general elections in 2016. The list is only available for MAG members.

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Georgia AG issues key, pro-physician PDMP opinion

The Georgia Attorney General's office has released an opinion that says that, "O.C.G.A. § 16-13-60(c)(1) authorizes physicians to delegate their authority to access the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (“GAPDMP”) to registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who are (1) members of the physician’s staff and (2) accessing the GAPDMP solely for the purpose of determining whether misuse, abuse, or underutilization of prescribed medication has occurred."

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AMA releases MACRA QPP provisions summaries

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released two new summary documents

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AMA flagging 2017 Medicare payment adjustment reports

The American Medical Association (AMA) says that, “Two new reports are now available with information on 2015 cost and quality data that indicate which physicians or practices will see related Medicare payment adjustments in 2017.”

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CMS issues Medicare fraud/ID theft fact sheet

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is promoting a new fact sheet that was developed to “assist beneficiaries [to guard] their Medicare number from Medicare fraud and identity theft.”

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AMA resources help practices prepare for MACRA

The American Medical Association (AMA) has developed a number of resources that will help physician practices prepare for the transition to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) payment system.

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MAG encouraging Georgians to get flu vaccine

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians to get vaccinated for the flu by the end of October.

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MAG revenue cycle webinar now online

A recording of a ‘Best Practices in Revenue Cycle Management’ webinar that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) recently hosted for its members and their practice staff is now available online.

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Physicians Foundation promoting book on poverty/health care

The Physicians Foundation is promoting a book – Poverty and the Myths of Health Care Reform – that it commissioned the late Richard ‘Buz’ Cooper, M.D., to write.

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MAG offers 'Medical Cannabinoid Oil Registry' fact sheet

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding its members that it off

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MAG signs letter to oppose VA APRNs proposal

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of nearly 100 physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that was sent to the Under Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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MAG calling for emails to block mergers as Georgia AG joins DOJ lawsuit to do the same

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is calling on Georgia physicians and practice staff to take a few moments to send emails to mergercomments@oci.ga.gov by the end of this week to urge Georgia’s Division of Insurance (DOI) to block the pending Aetna/Humana merger.

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MAG supporting bill to clarify Sunshine Act

The Medical Association of Georgia is one of many physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a June 29 letter that was sent to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, M.D., to support a bill, S. 2978, the ‘Protect Continuing Physician Education and Patient Care Act.’

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CMS promoting Medicare revalidation resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is stressing that it has established a requirement for “all enrolled providers/suppliers to revalidate their Medicare enrollment information under new enrollment screening criteria.”

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CMS promoting specialty-specific ICD-10 resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding health care providers that it offers a series of guides that compile “key information about ICD-10 codes for each specialty.”

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AMA, others call for change in EHR interoperability measures

The American Medical Association (AMA) and 36 specialty medical associations recently sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Health Information Technology (ONC) to urge them to “rethink the way [they] measure the interoperability of electronic health records.”

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Physicians Foundation releases patient survey report

The Physicians Foundation has released the results of its first comprehensive patient survey, which “found that the physician-patient relationship remains strong, with nine out of 10 U.S. adults reporting high levels of satisfaction with their primary care physicians (PCP).”

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CMS issues MACRA fact sheet for small practices

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a ‘MACRA – Flexibilities and support for small practices’ fact sheet that outlines aspects of the proposed MACRA regulation that were intended to address the needs of smaller physician practices.

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