Leadership News

GAFP Members Set to Become Thriving Independent Practices

On July 18, 2019, a small group of vetted GAFP members gathered in Gainesville, GA set on a course to become a thriving independent practice. Member practices participated in the inaugural session of Thrive, a GAFP transformation project that focuses on helping family medicine practices increase reimbursements by identifying under-used codes and procedures. Family physicians, along with their core billing team, had the opportunity to receive individualized rapid cycle improvement guidance from industry experts. The Thrive team consisted of GAFP partner and coding expert, Steve Adams of InHealth Professional services, who led discussions on hidden codes and documentation. Bob Addleton, EdD and Adele Cohen, MS of Leadership in Practice mentored individual practices on developing rapid cycle improvement plans, which when implemented will transform the practice into a thriving facility. In addition, GAFP Director of Education, Felicia Kenan, MPA, CMP was on-hand to provide direction related to utilizing this project for a self-directed study for ABFM Part IV maintenance of certification.

Aside from unmasking medical codes and documentation procedures that will lead to improved billing practices, participants are eligible to receive up to 10 prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Upon completion of the full improvement plan activity, diplomates may submit the activity to ABFM to qualify for 20 activity points as an approved Part IV- Self-Directed Performance Improvement Activity. Participants will convene again on September 12 to present final improvement plans and to discuss how to sustain and maintain practice changes.

The next cohort of the Thrive initiative is scheduled to commence on October 3 in Macon, GA.  There are still opportunities for member practices to participate.   Interested members may register online by clicking here.

If you missed the opportunity to participate in the pilot Thrive project, be on the lookout for Thrive 2020 information at the 2019 Annual Fall meeting.


The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is seeking resolutions for the 2019 Congress of Delegates (COD) meeting. Last year, the COD tackled issues such as online patient reviews and surveys, uncompensated afterhours physician care, and determinants of maternal mortality in Georgia.

What is the Congress of Delegates, you ask?  The GAFP Congress of Delegates is a governing body of the Academy that can set policy. It meets annually at the GAFP Annual Meeting to vote on and ratify decisions that are made by the Board all year, as well as to hear and vote on resolutions from all members.

We are soliciting your ideas and leadership in proposing resolutions for this year’s Congress of Delegates, the first session will be a live webinar/conference call on Thursday, October 17, at 6:00 pm and the final session will meet on Saturday, November 16 in conjunction with the Annual Meeting held at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain.

Do you need help writing your resolution? Staff and speaker Carl McCurdy, MD and Vice- Speaker Samuel “Le” Church, MD, MPH, FAAFP are available to assist you, contact Angela Flanigan at aflanigan@gafp.org or 800.392.3841. You can submit your resolution online at https://www.gafp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Resolution-Form-2019.pdf.  The deadline to submit resolutions is Friday, September 13.

Join us as a delegate!  If you are interested in serving your district by being elected as a COD delegate for your district, please reach out to Angela Flanigan and she will confirm your district number, then send you a survey to complete to nominate yourself and others from your district.

Potential New Member Benefit – Group 401K Retirement Plan

To:       Georgia Academy of Family Physician Members – Life, Active, Supporting and Residents

From:  Donald L. Fordham, MD, FAAFP – President

Re:  Potential New Member Benefit – Group Retirement Plan

The leadership of the Georgia Academy are constantly seeking ways to support our members with ongoing benefits to enhance your practice, career and support your patients.  We would appreciate your participation in this survey, if you have a retirement plan, would like to participate in a retirement plan – and would like to reduce costs and administrative hassle by joining forces in a multiple employer plan.

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is considering establishing a Multiple Employer 401(k) Plan or MEP for its members who are business owners.  The goal of the GAFP MEP would be to allow Academy members to join forces to:

– Simplify plan administration
– Lower record-keeping costs by combining assets with other members plans
– Reduce fiduciary liability by using 3rd party plan level fiduciaries for investment selection and monitoring as well some administrative functions.
– A MEP with a larger asset base would potentially have access to investment options not available to smaller retirement plans

In order to see if a Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Multiple Employer 401(k) Plan would be viable we are collecting some additional information from our members. Please complete the following survey by July 22nd  so our Board will have the information it needs to pursue this further.  If you have already responded – no need to complete the 3 minute survey again.

Click Here to Complete Survey.

Recent Articles About the Need for Retirement Savings for Physicians:




Thrive – Coding & Reimbursement Practice Improvement Project 2019: Turn Your Practice Around Within Three Months!

Thrive – Coding & Reimbursement Practice Improvement Project 2019

Turn Your Practice Around Within Three Months!

Click here to register online

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is launching a new, innovative practice transformation project that focuses on helping family medicine practices increase reimbursements by identifying under-used codes and procedures and counts as an ABFM Self-Directed Performance Improvement Activity where you earn up to 20 points towards your overall 50-point activity requirement.

Thrive is designed to help practices survive and thrive in today’s changing healthcare environment by assisting independent practices by educating the clinical and business team  to ensure their patients are taking advantage of all the benefits that their health plans allow.

The GAFP is seeking up to 16 independent practices to participate in the Thrive pilot (up to 8 practices for each workshop). The workshops will be held in Macon and Gainesville to try and offer this program to more of our members who are based in more rural-settings and might not have the ability to attend city-based CME.

Participants will attend two one-day workshops (held three months apart) on Coding and Documentation  and complete a rapid cycle improvement project related to workshop material. The sessions will be led by Bob Addleton and Adele Cohen, Leadership in Practice consultants, and longtime GAFP partner and coding expert, Steve Adams.  Over the three-month learning cycle, practices will make immediate changes to their practices to improve outreach to their patients and increase the financial well-being of their practices. At least one physician and one staff member with billing responsibilities should attend each session.

Meeting Dates:

  • Gainesville Workshop

            Thursday, July 18, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

            Thursday, September 12, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

  • Macon Workshop

            Thursday, October 3, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

            Thursday, January 9, 2020 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

We have found that the most successful practice change activities include:

  • Practice care team members who are vested in making a change within the practice.
  • The opportunity to learn from experts
  • The use of adult learning methods, putting more emphasis on well-constructed group problem solving than lectures

If you’re tired of losing money because you’re not being reimbursed for the work that you and your team do in your practice, and can answer YES to the following questions, please submit the request for participation below.

  • Is your practice independent?
  • Are you tired of leaving money on the table by under-coding your patient interactions?
  • Are you willing to attend both workshops (along with at least another member of your practice) and participate in an interim month one-on-one consultative conference call/webinar?
  • Are you and other family physicians in your practices members of the Georgia Academy?

Registration:  This CME activity will offer your practice hours of individualized practice management advice.  The registration fee of $500 per practice will be reimbursed to you after completion of the Thrive Workshop if your practice attended BOTH workshops and participated in the interim-consultative conference call with the Thrive Team.

If you answered YES to ALL of these questions, please complete the information below and return to GAFP staff at the Registration Desk.

Please note, this is a small pilot project and will be offered to only 5-8 practices. There will be a vetting process that will help us determine the final 5-8 participants. Click here to register online or complete the form below and return to cmitchell@gafp.org


Name: ________________________________        Practice Name: ______________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip: _______________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________          Email: ____________________________

Number of clinical providers in this practice (physicians and mid-levels): ________________

Number of administrative and billing/coding staff in this practice: _____________________

Your electronic health record (EHR) System: _______________________________

The Georgia Academy Awarded AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grant

The Georgia Academy Awarded AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grant

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) was selected to receive a $5,000 grant to participate in the AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grants Program. The intent of the Program is to promote collaboration between the AAFP and AAFP chapters in establishing chapter health equity plans. A health equity plan is a set of goals and tactics that describe how the chapter will work to advance health equity. Health equity refers to the elimination of differences in health that are closely linked with social or economic disadvantage among population groups based on race/ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, mental health, sexual orientation, or geographic location.

For more information about the AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grants Program please contact Kevin Kovach at (913) 906-6143 or kkovach@aafp.org.