The Latest Impact of the Health Care Reform Law

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January 27, 2012
In this issue
» States May Get More Control Over Insurance Offerings

» Continued Rollout of Health Care Law Includes New Provisions in 2012

» Medicaid Change to Be Reviewed by Supreme Court

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

The first thing I want to let you know about today is that ACP’s annual State of the Nation’s Health Care briefing was held here in Washington yesterday afternoon.  We’ll have complete coverage of the event in our next issue, but I can tell you that we challenged Congress to prevent the across-the-board cuts called for by the budget deal and replace them with more fiscally and socially responsible changes.  Additionally, we released specific questions that you should be asking candidates in this election year to evaluate their health care stances.  If you’re interested in learning more before our next issue, I encourage you to take a look at the briefing materials on our webpage .

In this week’s issue we update you on a few different things related to the health care reform law.  In our first story we look at the Obama administration’s announcement late last year that they will be allowing states more leeway in determining standards for health insurance companies.

Our second story looks at the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will be coming into effect this year.  There are three main provisions taking effect this year that will form the foundation for the major changes we’ll be seeing in the next couple of years.  I encourage you to read the story to see what sort of impact you may see this year.

Finally, our last story this week looks at an upcoming Supreme Court challenge to the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act.  ACP supports the provision as a key path to ensuring all Americans have access to health care coverage. 

Again, please look to our next issue to hear about ACP’s perspective on the State of the Nation’s Health Care.  And, 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

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
» States May Get More Control Over Insurance Offerings
  Federal government proposal cedes some decision making on what benefits should be deemed essential

In a major switch that could lead to fewer federal decisions about medical care, the Obama administration is recommending that states be allowed to play a major role in determining which services insurance companies must cover.

It's not clear ye... » Click to read the full article

» Continued Rollout of Health Care Law Includes New Provisions in 2012
  Physicians may benefit from ACOs, less administrative paperwork and insurance changes

For physicians, the creation of Accountable Care Organizations may prove to be the most important new provision of the Affordable Care Act taking effect this year.

ACOs, which allow doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to band toget... » Click to read the full article

» Medicaid Change to Be Reviewed by Supreme Court
  Some states object to requirement to insure more people or lose funding

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in late March from 26 states that want the court to strike down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that calls for a major expansion of the Medicaid program.

The states believe that the law is coerciv... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Key Contacts are now Advocates for Internal Medicine Network
The College’s grassroots advocacy program now has a new name. The Key Contact Program is now the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn). AIMn is designed to help ACP members interested in government advocacy engage with their members of Congress about on issues of importance to medical students, internists and their patients. Click on the link above to find out how you can get involved.

CMS Delays Version 5010 Enforcement
CMS has announced that they will not enforce Version 5010 compliance for 90 days after the Jan. 1 compliance date. This effectively moves the date to March 31. ACP strongly encourages its members to continue their Version 5010 implementation programs as all health insurers, not just Medicare and Medicaid, will be transitioning to the new electronic transactions standards. Practices that do not successfully transition to Version 5010 will find that their claims cannot be processed - and therefore, cannot be paid.

Discounted Access to PQRIwizard
ACP has partnered with CECity to provide members with discounted access to PQRIwizard, a web-based registry designed to help collect and report quality measure data for the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program. The deadline for reporting for the 2011 program year is Feb. 17, so there is still time if you act quickly.

Date Change for Leadership Day
The dates for the 2012 ACP Services Leadership Day have been changed to June 6 & 7, 2012. Due to a recently-learned conflict with the congressional calendar for the previously scheduled May dates, the event has been moved to after Memorial Day. The location and other details remain the same. Please note the change on your calendar.

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