The Latest on the Government Shutdown and Health Care

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October 11, 2013
In this issue
» With Health Care at Stake, Wrangling Continues Over U.S. Economic Quandary

» ACP Asks CMS to Extend Deadlines for Meaningful Use of Electronic Records

» Changes to HIPAA Require Action From Physician Practices

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

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in Washington.  Today’s first story brings you a little perspective on how the federal government shutdown and upcoming battle over the debt ceiling are affecting health care-related government functions.  Check out the story for more and look to our next issue when we’ll bring you more news about the situation.

Today’s second story lets you know about comments ACP has sent to HHS about the new Meaningful Use requirements for the use electronic health record (EHR) systems.  We’ve told HHS that we believe physicians and other health care professionals need more time before they must begin reporting on the next stage of measures.  Take a look at the article for more about what we had to say.

And, lastly, our third story is about changes to HIPAA that went into effect this fall.  The changes update the regulations to better protect patient privacy in light of technological advances that have been made since the law was enacted.  Read the article for more details and for a link to ACP resources that can help you with any changes you practice may need to make.

Until our next issue, 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
» With Health Care at Stake, Wrangling Continues Over U.S. Economic Quandary
  ACP opposes delaying or defunding Affordable Care Act and warns of widespread effects if differences aren't resolved

U.S. health care has found itself smack in the middle of the federal government shutdown.

The demands from Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives to defund or delay the Affordable... » Click to read the full article

» ACP Asks CMS to Extend Deadlines for Meaningful Use of Electronic Records
  Allowing more time would help ensure overall success of the program, College maintains

The American College of Physicians has asked federal officials to give doctors more time to comply with rigorous "meaningful use" requirements for electronic health records, or EHRs.

Arguing that ... » Click to read the full article

» Changes to HIPAA Require Action From Physician Practices
  ACP offers guidance to ensure adherence to new rules

HIPAA, the 1996 health care law that ushered in major changes in the world of American medicine, has gone in for a nip and tuck of its own.

In late September, new rules took effect that the federa... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Last Day to Apply for ACP’s 2014 Washington Internship
Applications are still being accepted for the College’s Health Policy Internship for Resident/Fellow and Medical Student Members. The internship represents an opportunity for one resident/fellow member and one medical student member to develop legislative knowledge and advocacy skills through working directly with the College’s Washington staff. The internship will last for 4 weeks starting on April 28 and ending with ACP’s 2014 Leadership Day. The deadline to apply is today, Oct. 11.

Last Chance for Group Reporting PQRS
Reminder: October 15 is the last day for practices to register for the group practice reporting option for PQRS and practices of 100 or more to register for the value-based payment (VBP) modifier program. By selecting a group reporting method for the PQRS program for calendar year 2013, practices can begin the process for avoiding the 1.5% PQRS penalty and the 1% VBP penalty in 2015. More information is available on the CMS Portal.

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