White House Health Care Summit, Plus Possible Payment Increases

The ACP Advocate

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March 20, 2009
In this issue
» Health Summit Rallies Stakeholders

» White House Health Summit: An ACP Officer's Perspective

» MedPAC Calls for Physician Pay Hike, Primary Care Adjustment

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 www.acponline.org/advocacy.

Welcome to The ACP Advocate.

As promised, in this week’s issue you’ll find complete coverage of the White House’s summit on health care that was held two weeks ago. In addition to a summary of the event, we have an interview with ACP President Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, FACP, about his experience at the summit.

In this issue we also cover the March report of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that proposed a 1.1% increase in Medicare’s physician payments in 2010.

For even more about 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.

And, as always, please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to: TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

Yours truly,

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

In the news
» Health Summit Rallies Stakeholders
  Obama says reform is a 'fiscal imperative' and must not be delayed

HealthDay News -- Health care reform is clearly a major building block in President Barack Obama's plan for stabilizing the American economy.

Warning that the skyrocketing cost of health care -- not Social Security -- poses the biggest threat to the nation's economy, Obama told congressional leaders and health care stakeholders at a special White House meeting March 5 that health reform is a "... » Click to read the full article

» White House Health Summit: An ACP Officer's Perspective
  ACP President thanks Obama for addressing Medicare's flawed payment formula

HealthDay News -- For Dr. Jeffrey Harris, whose year-long tenure as president of the American College of Physicians (ACP) comes to an end in April, attending the recent White House Forum on Health Reform was a privilege and a pleasure.

"This clearly is one of those momentous memories of what has been a memorable year," said Harris, an ACP fellow since 1981.

Harris was one of more th... » Click to read the full article

» MedPAC Calls for Physician Pay Hike, Primary Care Adjustment
  Concern over Medicare's long-term fiscal health drives renewed emphasis on value

HealthDay News -- The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has proposed a 1.1 percent increase in payments for physician services in 2010 and reiterated a previous recommendation to increase payments to practitioners who focus on primary care.

MedPAC's March 2009 Report to Congress, one of two annual reports prepared by the independent Congressional agency, describes these an... » Click to read the full article

In focus
New Ideas for Health Care Reform at Internal Medicine 2009
National health policy expert Ken Thorpe will appear with a panel of experts at ACP’s Internal Medicine 2009 to discuss "New Ideas for Reforming the U.S. Health Care System: What Can Be Done to Improve Access, Quality, and Efficiency of Care?" The session will be a timely and in-depth discussion about the public policy issues that are most important to internists. Other panelists for the Thursday session (PN034) include the Research Director for the Commonwealth Fun, Cathy Schoen. Look for information about this and other health policy related sessions in the Advance Program.

Upcoming ACP webinar on Coding
ACP continues its series of webinars on Wednesday, March 25th with Dr. Doug Leahy and "Coding: Beyond the Basics." This one hour webinar begins at 7pm. Dr. Leahy will review key Medicare coding issues including "incident-to" billing, modifiers, often overlooked codes, and the option to bill beneficiaries for services for which Medicare considers "non-covered" services. The registration fee is $25. Registration instructions for this webinar are available at the link above.

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