Welcome to The ACP Advocate.
This week the Massachusetts Senate election delivered a big shake-up to health care reform. It remains to be seen exactly what effect it will have on health care reform, but it certainly makes the road to enactment far more difficult, and some have speculated that this could sink the entire effort. ACP does not base its advocacy on the politics of the moment, but on long-standing policies developed by the ACP membership. We will continue to advocate for our top priorities to be part of the best possible legislative outcome. Our first story this issue looks at the latest developments in health care reform and examines what impact the Massachusetts election may have.
Congress may also be taking up legislation soon to put a permanent end to the physician payment cuts caused by the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Now is the time for you to tell your Senators that it is time to get rid of the SGR—once and for all—and institute a new system to provide stable updates to physicians.
In our second story we tell you about a new way you may be able to earn incentive payments for adopting electronic health records (EHRs). We’re still examining the new rule to make sure that the program will not impose undue burdens on your practice and that it will provide the best possible outcome for your patients. Look for more guidance from the College over the next couple of months.
Our last story looks at a new model of care, Accountable Care Organizations, which would create incentives for pay primary care physicians, other medical specialists, and hospitals to work collaboratively to hold down costs and improve outcomes.
Finally, for more coverage of health care reform and what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty. I hope you’ll join me to discuss ACP’s efforts as we as we take the next steps toward a final health care reform bill.
And, as always, please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to: TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians