AAFP letter to CMS stresses value of primary care visits

AAFP letter to CMS stresses value of primary care visits

(HealthDay)—The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has reminded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the importance of primary care, stressing the value of a three-visit requirement before meeting any deductible within health insurance marketplaces.

Noting that CMS issued a draft letter offering operational and technical guidance to users to help them participate in health insurance marketplaces, the AAFP responded to one section of the letter. In this paragraph, CMS encourages qualified health plan issuers to cover three office visits prior to meeting any deductible.

In response to this point, the AAFP wrote to CMS to request inclusion of stronger language before CMS sends this to issuers. The AAFP urges the CMS to require three primary care office visits prior to meeting any deductible. This ruling would align with the AAFP's patient-centered medical home model of care and would allow the care team to forge a relationship with the patient.

"The three-visit requirement gives [patients] an appropriate incentive to see their primary care physician in their medical home to address those ailments and thus prevent costlier care down the road," AAFP board chair Jeff Cain, M.D., said in a statement.

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