Latest on Health Care Reform, New ACP Policies on Primary Care

The ACP Advocate

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May 01, 2009
In this issue
» Budget Compromise Allocates Money to Avert Near-Term Physician Payment Cuts

» ACP Proposes Primary Care and Payment Reforms

» Senate Finance Committee Roundtable Discusses Primary Care

» ACP Calls for Routine HIV Testing

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.

This has been a big week in Washington for health care reform. As noted in our first story, Congress passed the 2010 budget. The new budget provides broad policy direction for Congress to develop legislation to stop physician payment cuts for the next two years and improve payments for primary care, but it leaves the details--including how to pay for both without increasing overall costs--to be worked out later.

Also, early in the week Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as the new secretary of HHS. With this confirmation, hopefully other health care positions in the administration will soon be filled.

Late on Tuesday Senators Max Baucus and Charles Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee, released a new paper describing different options for approaching health care reform. We briefly touch on the new paper in our article covering the committee roundtable, but look to our next issue for a more detailed analysis.

And finally, if you’re looking for resources about swine flu be sure to visit ACP’s website. We’re updating our bioterrorism resource page with the latest information.

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:

Yours truly,

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

In the news
» Budget Compromise Allocates Money to Avert Near-Term Physician Payment Cuts
  But it fails to establish a new baseline to ensure positive updates in the future

The U.S. House and Senate agreed this week to a 2010 budget bill that allows Congress to enact legislation to stave off immediate cuts in physician fees but leaves future Medicare reimbursement in limbo.

Physician organizations had hoped the comp... » Click to read the full article

» ACP Proposes Primary Care and Payment Reforms
  New payment models and enhanced reimbursement would combat physician shortage

The American College of Physicians is calling on the federal government to implement strategies "to halt and reverse" the nation's worsening primary care shortage and "reward efficient, high-quality, coordinated care."

ACP's vision for reform i... » Click to read the full article

» Senate Finance Committee Roundtable Discusses Primary Care
  ACP CEO/EVP only leadership from physician organizations

One of the invited experts at last week's Senate Finance Committee Roundtable was Dr. John Tooker, ACP's chief executive officer and executive vice president. He was the only leader of a physician membership organization invited to participate, an indication... » Click to read the full article

» ACP Calls for Routine HIV Testing
  Expanding public policy could save lives -- and health-care costs, too

The American College of Physicians has joined with another medical professional group in calling for the federal government to make voluntary HIV testing a routine part of medical testing.

Despite a recommendation in September 2006 by the U.S... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Sebelius Confirmed as Secretary of HHS
On Tuesday the Senate confirmed former Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to serving as governor Sebelius was the Kansas State Insurance Commissioner for 8 years. Her confirmation clears the way for the appointments of other health care officials to the administration.

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