Health IT & Privacy: A new paper from ACP

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October 21, 2011
In this issue
» ACP Suggests Ways to Maintain Patient Privacy in Techno Era

» Above All Else, Make Premiums Affordable, New Report Says

» States Slowly Moving to Establish Insurance Exchanges

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

Today’s first story is about a new policy paper we released on Tuesday.  Health Information Technology & Privacy looks at the many, complicated issues involved in strictly securing patient privacy of health data. While electronic health records and other information technologies have the potential to greatly improve care delivery, it is important that they be implemented with adequate protections in place.

Our second story looks at recommendations the IOM released two weeks ago about how to determine what will qualify as an “essential health benefit” under the new health care reform regulations governing health insurance.  I believe that their recommendations have done a good job of balancing the need to keep insurance affordable with providing necessary health services. 
And, finally, our last story this week looks at health insurance exchanges at the state-level.  If you have not already visited our new State Health Policy website, I encourage you to take a look at the bar to the right of this letter to find more information about the exchanges and other issues important to states.
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
» ACP Suggests Ways to Maintain Patient Privacy in Techno Era
  New policy paper urges added safeguards for research subjects

The American College of Physicians is urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to take extra steps to protect the privacy of patients when it comes to the re-use of personal and research data, particularly banked tissue samples.

» Click to read the full article

» Above All Else, Make Premiums Affordable, New Report Says
  Institute of Medicine weighs in on expectations for state-run insurance exchanges

Affordability should trump breadth of coverage in state-run health insurance exchanges set up to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act, contends a new report by the Institute of Medicine, an independent, nonprofit arm of the National Academy of Scie... » Click to read the full article

» States Slowly Moving to Establish Insurance Exchanges
  ACP members urged to work at the local level to let the physician's voice be heard

A scant 14 months before the federal government begins assessing the readiness of states to establish health insurance exchanges, as directed by the Affordable Care Act, only 13 states are poised to create the plans, which will offer affordable insurance ... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Are you interested in state advocacy?
Visit our newly-revamped State Health Policy webpage to find news about what’s happening on the state level. Organized by topic area you’ll find information on how the Affordable Care Act is being implemented and other issues important to internists. You’ll also find recommendations for actions your Chapter can take to help shape policy in your state.

CMS Looking for Innovation Advisors
CMS is now accepting applications for a new Innovation Advisors Program. Under the program 200 health care professionals will be chosen to implement and test new models of care delivery. Employers may be eligible to receive financial support to facilitate a candidate’s participation. Applications are being accepted through Nov. 15.

Version 5010 Deadline Looms
The Jan. 1 deadline to comply with Version 5010 electronic administrative transactions is only 115 days away. On Jan. 1 all health insurers, not just Medicare and Medicaid, will only accept electronic transactions that use the Version 5010 standards. Practices that do not successfully transition to Version 5010 will find that their claims cannot be processed – and therefore, cannot be paid. Practices need to work with the vendors, clearinghouses, and payers of their practice management systems and electronic health record to begin testing for Version 5010 compliance. Visit the CMS website at the link above for a checklist of how to get ready.

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