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, go to www.acponline.org/advocacy
- What do the 2008 elections and a new President and
Congress mean for the future of the American health care
- What does Washington have in mind to reverse the
growing shortage of general internists?
This issue of The ACP Advocate has some early analysis
of the election (and we’ll have a still-more-detailed analysis for
you in two weeks).
The Nov. 4 election of Barack Obama will almost certainly lead to
an extraordinary re-alignment of political power in Washington,
including an opportunity for significant health care reform.
In an interview just prior to the election, Sen. Obama named health
care reform as his third priority (stabilizing the economy and
energy independence were the top two). He said, "I think the
time is right to do it."
In January, we released a candidate's pledge that described how ACP
felt the candidates should shape their health care proposals, based
on the College's key health reform priorities.
ACP's election tool has been updated to show how
President-elect Obama’s positions compare to ACP policies and
priorities. Links are given to additional resources
to learn more about the Obama plan.
If you're interested in my immediate "take" on Tuesday's results,
check out my new blog at http://blogs.acponline.org/advocacy/. I
encourage you to join in the discussion.
The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty reflects my work
with ACP. It is not a mouthpiece for ACP's positions. Instead,
I invite thoughtful commentary on the most provocative,
ground-breaking and intriguing health policy discussions I come
across in my daily work.
Like The ACP Advocate e-newsletter, the blog is another
of the new communications vehicles launched by the College to inform
members about public policy. Produced by the College's
Washington, D.C. governmental affairs division, the newsletter and
blog are created to provide you, our members, with up-to-the-minute
- Hard, late-breaking news on the most important public policies
- What ACP is doing on your behalf.
- Ways that you can have your views heard by the College
Please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to:
And, send your thoughts on the blog to: TheACPAdvocateBlog@acponline.org.
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and
American College of
the news |
||How the Obama Administration Could Begin Health
||In lieu of federal belt
HealthDay News -- President-elect Barack Obama is likely to
begin taking steps to improve access to health care when he
takes office in 2009. But federal budget constraints are
likely to rein in the administration's efforts.
"There's not a lot of money in Washington, D.C. to do an
ambitious government-financed health reform, but that doesn't
mean that an ambitious health reform won't happen," ...
» Click to read the full article
American College of
||The 2008 election and health care
||A post-election blog entry from
The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty|
There is one word in my mind that best describes the 2008
And I say this from a purely non-partisan standpoint.
Whether one voted for Senator Obama or Senator McCain, it is
undeniable that the outcome of this election is
That the voters elected the first African American to the
Presidency of the United State... » Click to read the full article
||ICD-10 Poses Cost, Administrative
||But some argue that more precise coding
will yield benefits|
HealthDay News -- If the federal government has its way, a
new era in medical diagnosis coding is coming to the nation's
healthcare community, and many physicians and payers are
expressing concern that the costs and administrative changes
in store will pose an undue burden.
Last August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services proposed replacing the existing ICD-9 coding system
used to... » Click to read the full article
||110th Congress Tackles Mental Health, Genetic
||Incoming legislators face Medicare,
SCHIP and health reform |
HealthDay News -- While failing to advance the expansion of
children's health insurance, the 110th Congress nevertheless
took significant action on a number of health policy
The enactment of a mental health parity law is one of the
most important measures to emerge from Capitol Hill, health
policy experts noted.
"I think thats incredibly important based on the research
we've ... » Click to read the full article
||CMS Releases 2009 Medicare Physician Fee
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) released the final 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
The final rule includes a 1.1 percent increase in physician
payments that will be effective January 1, 2009. This increase
replaces a cut in payment rates that should have gone into
effect as a result of the sustainable growth rate (SGR)
formula that is used to calculate physician p...
» Click to read the full article
||ACP Member Elected to Congress|
ACP member William M. Cassidy, MD, a cardiovascular disease
physician and Louisiana state senator from Baton Rouge, was
elected to Congress from Louisiana's 6th District Tuesday. A
Republican, he defeated Democratic Congressman Don
Dr. Cassidy is an Associate Professor of Medicine at LSU
Health Science Center and teaches at Earl K. Long Hospital. He
served as the Louisiana state se... » Click to read the full article
||Last Chance to Earn a 2008 Medicare
It's not too late to earn a Medicare pay-for-reporting
bonus under the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative
(PQRI). Changes to the reporting options took effect in July
2008 that enable you to earn a bonus equal to 1.5 percent of
your total allowed Medicare changes for the six-month period
July 1 to December 31.
These changes allow you to earn a bonus for the second half
of the year by ... » Click to read the full article
|CMS to hold conference call for providers about ICD-10
On November 12th the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be holding a call for Part
A and B Medicare providers to provide information about the proposed
ICD-10 coding system. The call will include an overview of ICD-10,
how it differs from ICD-9-CM, and what providers will need to
consider when updating information technology systems to use the new
codes. The ICD-10-CM/PCS National Provider Conference Call will be
held on November 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
|ACP study shows steep cost for ICD-10
In conjunction with other
medical organizations, the College recently helped to fund a study
that determined the cost and time that it would take the typical
practice to implement ICD-10. The study showed that for a typical
small practice, consisting of 3 physicians and 2 administrative
staff, it would cost $83,290 to complete the conversion to ICD-10.
And, for a large practice with 100 providers it would be more than
|ACP Letter to Secretary of HHS, Yul
ACP is opposed to the implementation of
ICD-10-CM. In an October 21 letter to the Secretary of HHS, Yul
Ejnes, MD, FACP, chair of ACP’s Medical Service Committee, said,
“Adoption of this diagnosis code set in the ambulatory setting is
unwarranted as the collective costs far out-weigh the benefits. . .
we believe that our emphasis on the especially detrimental affect it
would have on small primary care practices will significantly
enhance the debate. The burden associated with implementing
ICD-10-CM is likely to exacerbate the crisis in the primary care