What's new with Medicare? and 112th Congress Convenes

The ACP Advocate

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January 07, 2011
In this issue
» New Year Brings Changes to Medicare

» Physicians Increase Their Ranks in Congress

» National Health Service Corps Gets a Boost

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.

Hi, welcome to our first issue of 2011.  Our first story this week looks at some of the changes you’ll be seeing to Medicare in 2011.  Take a careful look at this article because it details several ways you may be able to earn additional revenue in your practice.  For more information about these and other changes, please also visit the Medicare Changes for 2011 section of the ACP website (find a link next to this letter).

The 112th Congress convened on Capitol Hill this week.  In our second story this week we tell you about the newly-elected members of Congress who are also physicians.  Our article introduces you to the seven new physician-members and speculates a little on the way their medical background may affect their work in Congress.

Our last story this week is another installment in our series on health care reform.  This installment looks at how the health care reform legislation will make improvements to the National Health Service Corps.

Finally, if you’re looking for more information about health care reform I encourage you to check out the Consumer Guide to Understanding Health System Reform brochure that was developed by ACP and AARP.  Free print copies of the brochure are also available to order for distribution in your offices.

For more coverage of what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  Now you can also follow me on Twitter @BobDohertyACP. 

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
» New Year Brings Changes to Medicare
  Practices can expect new revenue opportunities and patient benefits

A slew of Medicare changes are in store for 2011 and beyond. Several new programs will make it possible for internists to qualify for additional Medicare revenues. Others will expand benefits to older Americans.

If you're an internist who's taki... » Click to read the full article

» Physicians Increase Their Ranks in Congress
  Most newly elected doctors say they favor repealing health reform

When the 112th Congress convened this week, it counted 19 physicians among its members -- including several surgeons, ophthalmologists, an obstetrician-gynecologist, an emergency room doctor and a family practice physician who recently worked in a communit... » Click to read the full article

» National Health Service Corps Gets a Boost
  Expanded loan repayment program increases funding for service commitments

Many of the health care reforms taking effect this year are Medicare- and insurance-related -- but not all. Some of the changes enacted though the Aff... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Find Out About Medicare Changes for 2011
With a new year here, so are changes to the Medicare program. On the College’s Running a Practice site find information to help prepare you for what you’ll need to know after January 1. Find out how to qualify for a bonus under the Primary Care Incentive Program, what you’ll need to participate in the eRx Incentive Program, and what you’ll need to do to make “meaningful use” of your EHR system.

Let Annals Know What You Think About Access to Care
Take a moment to read “Universal Health Care Coverage in the United States: Is it ‘Slip, Slidin’ Away’?” an opinion piece in Annals by ACP’s Bob Doherty. The piece discusses what last year’s health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, did to increase access to care and what still needs to be done. Also take a moment to answer the accompanying reader survey that asks "What should be done with the ACA?."

Free Print Version of Health Care Reform Brochure Available
Print copies of the joint ACP and AARP Consumer Guide to Understanding Health System Reform (www.acponline.org/healthlawconsumerinfo) are now available for order. Available free in both English and Spanish the brochures are meant to be shared with your patients to answer their questions about health care reform. Guides will shipped in bundles of 100.

Help Us Find the Best Name for our Advocacy Program
The College is looking for a new name for our federal advocacy grassroots program. Take a minute to fill out this short survey and help us determine our new name. ACP's grassroots advocates e-mail, call and meet with their members of Congress on issues of importance to medical students, internists and their patients. ACP gives them the tools necessary to develop and maintain the relationships.

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