The Latest on Firearms Injury Prevention and Medicare Spending

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February 08, 2013
In this issue
» ACP Calls for New Approaches to Protect Public From Gun Violence

» Bill to Abolish Medicare Cost-Cutting Panel Gets New Life on Capitol Hill

» Pace of Medicare Spending Slows Once Again

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 and to access the ACP Advocate archives, go to

Welcome to The ACP Advocate

Today we start by updating you on ACP's involvement in the recent debate over preventing injuries and deaths related to use of firearms. President Obama released a proposal in January to improve access to mental health services,require universal background checks for all firearms' purchases, ban some types of semi-automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition, and remove restrictions on public health research on the causes and prevention of firearms-related suicides, murders and accidental shootings, among other proposals. Take a look at the article for more information on ACP's thoughts on this matter. 

The second story updates you on the latest legislation on the Hill about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  As you may remember from previous issues of this newsletter, the IPAB is a new panel of experts that was established by the health care reform legislation to advise Congress on ways to control Medicare costs.  New legislation has been introduced to the House to get rid of the board.  While we at ACP agree that major changes should be made to IPAB, we’re against full repeal.  Something needs to be done to start the process of controlling costs, while the IPAB is far from perfect we don’t believe the idea should be abandoned altogether.

Finally, our last story today lets you know about a new HHS study showing that 2012 was the third year of slowing growth for Medicare spending.  This trend largely matches the trend in overall health care spending in the U.S.  Read the article for more about why this might be happening.

For more coverage of what's happening in Washington take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty. You can also follow me on Twitter @BobDohertyACP.

As always, 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
» ACP Calls for New Approaches to Protect Public From Gun Violence
  College supports administration's initiatives and plans to revise its guidelines

As the United States faces the horrific heartache of mass shootings as well as the toll of individual deaths by firearms, the American College of Physicians has reaffirmed one of its core beliefs: That gun violence is a public health pr... » Click to read the full article

» Bill to Abolish Medicare Cost-Cutting Panel Gets New Life on Capitol Hill
  ACP suggests revising rather than eliminating board that should save money

Congress is once again considering repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created under the Affordable Care Act and charged with controlling Medicare costs.

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, a Tennessee Republican, reintr... » Click to read the full article

» Pace of Medicare Spending Slows Once Again
  ACP executive contends finding doesn't negate need for continued efforts to reduce spending and improve outcomes

The amount that Medicare spends on each beneficiary increased at a slower rate in fiscal year 2012, marking the third consecutive year of such slower growth, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.<... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Contact Your State Medicaid Office About Enhanced Primary Care Payments
In 2013 primary care and related specialtiy physicians will see an increase in their Medcaid payment to make them at least equivalent to payments under Medicare. In order to ensure that you receive this increase you must contact your state Medicaid office. Each state has a different timeline and procedure to fulfill an “attestation” requirement to receive the payment increases and you need to contact your state to determine exactly what you need to do. Additional information about the enhanced payments is on the College website.

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