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General Sessions

Friday, December 1, 7:30–8:15 am

PreGeneral Session—Payment Reform Update: Value Over Volume

Amy Mullins, MD, CPE, FAAFP, Medical Director for Quality Improvement for the American Academy of Family Physicians, Leawood, KS

MACRA’s Quality Payment Program is changing the way physicians are being paid. This lecture will outline MACRA, including the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs). It will also highlight how the program is scored in 2017 and how it will be scored in 2018.

Friday, December 1, 8:20–9:30 am

Kentucky Led the Way With the ACA

Steven Beshear, Former Governor of Kentucky

Back in mid-2013, the Affordable Care Act was being buried under an avalanche of skepticism and scorn. Then the governor of a small, rural, and red-leaning state stood up, loudly embraced the ACA, and—against all odds—aggressively used it as a tool to expand access to health care to over half a million of his people. 

Steve Beshear—who was governor of Kentucky from 2007 until 2015—will explain the discussion and analysis that led to his decision to expand Medicaid and create a state-operated Health Benefit Exchange he called “kynect.” He will recount how he navigated treacherous political waters to work with providers and others to attack Kentucky’s poor health and implement what he called “reform with a capital R.” He will detail how—by the time he left office in December 2015—expanded access to health coverage had begun to pay off in measurable ways for Kentucky. 

Building off the themes in his book, “People over Politics,” former Governor Beshear will give a timely analysis of how the current push in both Washington and Frankfort to strip health care access from tens of millions of people represents a backtrack on this nation’s commitment to its families. 

He also served as Attorney General from 1979-1983, Lieutenant Governor from 1983-1987, and was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1973- 1979. As Governor, he expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act and launched the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, benefiting over 500,000 Kentuckians. Together, these actions reduced the state’s uninsured rate from over 20% to 8% and ensured that for the first time in history, every Kentuckian would have access to affordable health insurance.

Saturday, December 2, 8:20–9:30 am 

Technician to Teachers: Bridging the Gap Between Health and Care—A Patient's Perspective

Melissa Thomason, Pinetops, NC 

When I was 28 years old everything I thought I knew about myself ripped apart in a moment. I was standing in a shower on the OB floor of my local hospital and, with no warning, I felt like fire was poured over my head. Pain surged through my teeth. My jaw tightened and then, suddenly, everything inside of me CRUNCHED. I was 35 weeks pregnant that day and the birth I’d planned for, the life I’d planned for, changed forever. 

In this presentation, learn what it was like for a “Type A” public school teacher to survive a Type A aortic dissection and to become a champion for patient-centered health care teams around the country. Listen to a patient’s passionate perspectives on culture, care coordination, cost, and how to build meaningful and lasting engagement in your practice or institution. “Are you the technician or the teacher?” Come find out. 

Melissa Thomason is a patient and family advisor who serves on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Family Medicine, on Patient and Family Advisory Councils in North Carolina, and on working groups around the country. She is a passionate advocate who has shared her story with thousands of health care workers around the world and who has made the vital work of patient-centered care her life’s mission. 

A former public school teacher, she spends her time now championing the cause of collaboration with patients and families, caring for her father, and being a mother to her nine-year-old son, Nate.


Sunday, December 3, 8–9:15 am

Practices and Payers: The Value of Deeper Partnerships on the Journey Toward Population Health

Patrick Gordon, MPA, Rocky Mountain Health Plans   

There are always at least two sides to every story; different understandings based on different perspectives. During this session, Patrick Gordon will review key issues in primary care practice transformation and highlight both opportunities and common points of abrasion between providers and payers. He’ll explain how “attribution,” “gaps,” “stratification,” “quality,” and “data” hold different meanings to payers than they do to providers, and how these differences are instructive for both. Mr Gordon will discuss how payment models that operate at the organizational and population level are so very different from those based at the level of the encounter and clinician “productivity,” and why better risk and resource intensity adjustment methods are so very essential. Attendees will be encouraged to reflect on how much payers and primary care providers have in common—culturally and strategically—and how simple data sharing and communication pathways can create a fundamental shift toward an aligned paradigm.

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine