Comparative Effectiveness, Price Transparency & Health Literacy

The ACP Advocate
January 09, 2009
In this issue
» Policymakers, Providers Push for Comparative Effectiveness

» Price Transparency in Health Care: Fad or Future?

» Low Health Literacy Undermines Patient Care

About this newsletter

The ACP Advocate is an e-newsletter, edited by the College's Washington, DC governmental affairs division, created to provide you, our members, with succinct news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care. To learn more about ACP's Advocacy, go to

Happy New Year from The ACP Advocate.

Changes are underway in Washington.  A new Congress convened this week, and we’re about to welcome a new administration.  Both the Congress and the President-elect have indicated that health care reform is a major concern for our country.  In this issue of The ACP Advocate, the first of 2009, we take an in-depth look at a few different concepts that may help give direction to the debates surrounding health care reform.

For more on health care reform and other health policy issues, check out my blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty .  I hope you’ll join me over the course of this year, as I discuss ACP’s efforts in guiding health care reform.

Please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to:

Yours truly,

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and
Public Policy
American College
of Physicians

In the news
» Policymakers, Providers Push for Comparative Effectiveness
  Questions about how a national program would operate remain unanswered

HealthDay News -- "Comparative effectiveness" is quickly becoming the latest catch phrase in health care.

A growing number of policy experts and medical groups clamber for data comparing one clinical intervention against other therapies for a given condition.

Advocates believe an expansion of comparative effectiveness research and greater coordination of these studies is the best way... » Click to read the full article

» Price Transparency in Health Care: Fad or Future?
  Fledgling movement to disclose physician fees experiences growing pains

HealthDay News -- Advocates of "price transparency" want consumers to be able to shop for physician services like any other good or service.

Determining the prices of physician services and procedures, however, isn't as cut-and-dried as surfing Amazon for the best deal on an MP3 player.

"The state of price transparency tools available to consumers about physician services is still ve... » Click to read the full article

» Low Health Literacy Undermines Patient Care
  Using plain language during office visits and on prescription labels may help

HealthDay News -- Just because patients don't ask questions doesn't mean they understand their diagnosis, take their medicines correctly or have insight into what they need to do to manage their care.

Nearly half of all American adults have low health literacy, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In other words, they have difficulty understanding and acting upon health information. A... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Free E-prescribing Webinar January 28th at 7PM EST
Join ACP for a free webinar focused on the new Medicare E-prescribing Incentive program. Learn about the rationale underlying the program, participation and reporting requirements, and the potential for financial reward for successful participation and reporting. In addition, listen to practical information from a practicing internal medicine physician regarding the use of e-prescribing in an ambulatory office setting. ACP is planning a series of webinars over the next few months covering topics such as 2009 Physician Quality Improvement Incentive and the Patient Centered Medical Home.

ACP Foundation Strives to Improve Health Literacy
The American College of Physician has a mission to improve the health and welfare of patients through initiatives that provide patients with the information they need to understand and manage their health. These initiatives have produced tools and resources that can help you provide your patients with a true understanding of their health care. These resources include HEALTH TiPS sheets available in English and Spanish, and Living with Diabetes: An Everyday Guide for You and Your Family.

Discover ACP's stand on Comparative Effectiveness
In 2008, ACP released a new policy paper that encourages the use of comparative effectivness data. Improved Availability of Comparative Effectiveness Information: An Essential Feature for a High-Quality and Efficient United States Health Care System, argues that clinical effectiveness and costs are both crucial elements to be analyzed when determining comparative effectiveness.

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