America’s Physician Groups Asks Congress to Move Full Speed to Value-Based Health Care

Washington, DC – This statement may be attributed to Susan Dentzer, President and Chief Executive Officer of America’s Physician Groups (APG):

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was a great step forward for its time, but the law has been a mixed success and needs to be updated, Anas Daghestani, MD, Chair of the Board of Directors of APG and Chief Executive Officer of Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) will tell lawmakers this week. Dr. Daghestani will testify on Thursday at a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing billed as a “MACRA Checkup: Assessing Implementation and Challenges that Remain for Patients and Doctors.”

Aspects of the groundbreaking MACRA law have been key to moving beyond fee-for-service Medicare payment for clinicians that was unrelated to quality or cost concerns, Dr. Daghestani will tell the panel. At the same time, the changes created under the law have failed to drive sufficient improvement in the quality or cost of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Dr. Daghestani will describe how MACRA should be reengineered to fuel the transition to value-based health care, by converting the traditional Medicare program fully into alternative payment models that take responsibility for the quality and cost of care.

Dr. Daghestani is a primary care physician and board-certified internal medicine specialist who has led ARC as CEO since 2016. ARC is a multispecialty medical group with more than 2,500 employees, including 400 physicians providing primary and specialty care for approximately 650,000 patients throughout Austin and Central Texas. He also serves as Chief Medical Officer for the Seton Health Alliance, a Medicare Accountable Care Organization in partnership with the Ascension Seton Healthcare Family. In 2018, the ACO produced more than $10 million in savings for the U.S. government, performing in the top quartile of all ACOs nationally. Before he joined ARC in 2005, Dr. Daghestani practiced medicine at a federally qualified health center in rural Oklahoma, where he cared for many uninsured individuals and U.S. veterans.

“Dr. Daghestani has first-hand knowledge of the many ways in which physician practices transform themselves in providing value-based health care,” said Susan Dentzer, President and CEO of APG. “He knows that it’s not possible to overstate the degree to which taking on full accountability for quality and costs produces better outcomes for patients and savings for the nation’s taxpayers. He has the direct experience to tell lawmakers about the urgent need for changes in MACRA, and the burning platform of both rising health spending and the declining health status of so many Americans.”

APG is a national organization representing approximately 360 physician groups in 45 states committed to providing coordinated, integrated, patient-centered care that is accountable for both costs and quality. APG’s roots go back more than 20 years, when it was founded as an organization representing California-based physician groups determined to transform health care. Today APG member groups collectively employ or contract with approximately 195,000 physicians and care for nearly 45 million patients.

APG’s member groups are committed to the transition to value-based health care and engage in the full spectrum of alternative payment models and Medicare Advantage—for example, caring for an estimated 1.5 million patients in Medicare ACOs and nearly 10 million in Medicare Advantage (MA), or about 33 percent of all MA enrollees nationwide. APG works, always in bipartisan fashion, to advocate for policies supportive of all these forms of value-based care.

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About America’s Physician Groups
America’s Physician Groups is a national association representing approximately 360 physician groups with approximately 170,000 physicians providing care to nearly 90 million patients. APG’s motto, ‘Taking Responsibility for America’s Health,’ represents our members’ commitment to clinically integrated, coordinated, value-based healthcare in which physician groups are accountable for the costs and quality of patient care. Visit us at

Contact: Greg Phillips, APG Director of Communications, 202-770-1901