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    6 considerations before joining an APM

    Chances are, many independent medical practices are participating in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made no secret that it would like to see these physicians eventually team up for the program’s other track—advanced alternative payment models (APMs)—through care models such as the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus.

    For physicians looking to join an APM, there are more incentives and opportunities for bonus payments, but several issues to consider before making the leap.

    Here are 6 questions a practice should ask as it considers becoming part of an APM.

    1. Why does your practice want to participate in the APM track?
    First, it’s important for physicians and practice owners to determine how the chosen model will benefit both the practice and its patients. “Ultimately, you should participate in MIPS or an APM because it is also going to help your practice and care for patients improve,” says David J. Zetter founder of Zetter Healthcare Management Consultants in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. “A practice needs to understand what they are getting into and what is in it for them.”

    2. Will the APM require changes to the practice and/or additional resources?

    Zetter says practices should understand their responsibilities in the APM, including what type of reporting is required and what resources partners are required to have. Examining the changes needed and ensuring they are in line with the goals and values of practice ownership is a must, he says.


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