Health Care and the Immigration Debate; ACO and Referrals

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July 19, 2013
In this issue
» Efforts to Reform Immigration Laws Imperil Health Care Access, ACP Executive Says

» Tangle of Medicare Rules Becoming Problematic for Subspecialists

» Obamacare Delay? What Obamacare Delay?

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 July issue of The ACP Advocate

Our first story for you today is all about how health care intersects with the debate on immigration policy that has been happening in Washington.  If you’ve not been following the debate on this issue you may be surprised to learn about some of the health care-related provisions that have been proposed to limit immigrant access to health care.  Take a look at the article for details about what is being considered.
Second, we have information for you about a concern we’ve heard about from our internal medicine subspecialist members on how Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) could be problematic for their practices.  Some internal medicine subspecialists and other specialty groups are concerned that ACOs are routing away patients that would normally be referred to their practices.  We’re interested in hearing from you if you’ve experienced this.  Read the article for more information about the concerns and how to contact us.
And, finally, our last article, courtesy of National Journal, is about the impact of the delay in the Affordable Care Act provision requiring employers to provide health insurance to their employees.
We’ll be back in August with coverage for you of the proposed 2014 Medicare Physician Fee schedule that came out at the end of last week.  Until then, 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
» Efforts to Reform Immigration Laws Imperil Health Care Access, ACP Executive Says
  College urges Congress to reject proposals it sees as punitive

Congressional attempts to change U.S. policies on immigration could adversely affect residents' access to health care, according to American College of Physicians officials who have argued against such acti... » Click to read the full article

» Tangle of Medicare Rules Becoming Problematic for Subspecialists
  At issue are ACO referral practices that threaten the pool of patients

Internal medicine subspecialists are expressing concern that their practices may be harmed by Medicare rules that govern how Accountable Care Organizations are structured and paid, according to representati... » Click to read the full article

» Obamacare Delay? What Obamacare Delay?

From the National Journal publications, July 11, 2013

When the Obama administration said it would delay the health reform law's requirement that employers insure their workers or face a fine,... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Survey on Health Care Reform
ACP is interested in learning about what physicians know about the insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Please take a moment to take this short survey to tell us what you know and what sort of information you’d like to receive on this issue.

Baucus Praises ACP Comments on Medicare Payments
In remarks at a hearing on July 10, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT) cited a May letter from ACP as being especially helpful for giving them “concrete examples, down to how Medicare could incentivize physicians to use guidelines that help them decide when to order tests and perform procedures. . . their comments help us see different angles of potential policies.” The letter was responding to a request for ideas from the Committee on how to improve the physician fee schedule and overall fee-for-service system.

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