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November 02, 2012
In this issue
» Positions on Health Care Help Define Candidates in Upcoming Election

» Medical Groups Call on Congress to End the SGR Formula for Medicare Payments

» Adding People to Medicaid Rolls Saves Lives, New Study Finds

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

Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt sympathy to those who have experienced losses because of Hurricane Sandy,and my appreciation to the first-responders--physicians, nurses, police, firefighters, EMTs and others--who so selflessly have lent their skills to help their neighbors in need. Having grown up on the south shore of Long Island, NY, I was particularly stunned and saddened to see the photos of the devastation this storm has created, while heartened by the accounts of people pulling together to support each other.

With less than a week left until the election, our first story today focuses on that issue. See what ACP's Chair of the Board of Regents had to say about why it's important for you to get out and vote. Also, find information about how ACP policies compare to the positions of the presidential candidates. Look to our next issue on Nov. 16 for coverage of the election outcome.

Our second story today updates you on the SGR situation.  Two weeks ago, ACP and other physician organizations came together to tell the Senate Finance Committee that we need to eliminate the SGR formula and transition toward new payment models.  Read the article for more details about what we propose.  The threat of the 27% SGR cut on Jan. 1 still stands, Congress will need to take action after the election in order to avert this cut.

Finally, our last story calls your attention to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine.  The study examines the relationship between Medicaid and mortality.  The authors found that in states that have already expanded their Medicaid programs to enroll more people, they lowered the death rates in their states.  With the Supreme Court’s decision last summer to remove penalties for states that do not comply with the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act, evidence like this reinforces the case for why the expansion is so important.

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
» Positions on Health Care Help Define Candidates in Upcoming Election
  ACP stresses need for physicians to vote in local and national contests

With the future direction of health care in the United States at stake in the outcome of the presidential election, physicians are being urged to review the candidates' positions and then make it to the polls Nov. 6 to cast their vote.<... » Click to read the full article

» Medical Groups Call on Congress to End the SGR Formula for Medicare Payments
  Current system is "not a realistic option" any longer, says ACP executive

The American College of Physicians has joined more than 100 other national and state-level medical societies in petitioning Congress to eliminate the unpopular Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate and transition to a new method of paying fo... » Click to read the full article

» Adding People to Medicaid Rolls Saves Lives, New Study Finds
  Experts suggest that politics will play bigger role than research findings in states' decisions on whether to expand coverage

Just how much Medicaid might expand remains unclear, with roughly half of all states still undecided about whether to participate in the federal government's effort to add millions of low-income adults to the program's roster.

<... » Click to read the full article

In focus
PQRS reporting regulations are changing
PQRS is a CMS voluntary reporting program providing a financial incentive to physicians/other professionals who report data on quality measures. The 2012 reporting year is the last chance to participate in PQRS and receive an incentive payment without risk of penalty. Penalties for nonparticipation in PQRS reporting begin in 2015, but are applied to the reporting year of 2013. ACP offers discount access to the PQRIwizard, which helps guide professionals through easy steps to rapidly collect, validate and submit their results to CMS for payment. Register now for a free webinar on 11/29.

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© Copyright 2012 American College of Physicians. All rights reserved.
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