Will You Qualify for the New Primary Care Bonus?

The ACP Advocate

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November 19, 2010
In this issue
» How Election Results May Affect Health Policy

» Medicare Opts to Allow More Internists to Qualify for Primary Care Bonus

» Physician Pay Cut Looms Again

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.

Our first story this week takes a closer look at the effect that the change in power in the House might have on health care policy.  While we’re likely to see some changes over the next year (and hopefully some improvements), I think a complete repeal of the health care reform legislation is unlikely.

Our second story this week is about the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the changes it included for the Primary Care Incentive Payment program.  As I briefly mentioned in our last issue, CMS adopted recommendations made by ACP to make this program more inclusive.  Read the article for more details about the fee schedule, and then check out the College’s Q&A (linked to next to this letter) for more information about how this program may affect you specifically.

Finally, our third story this week looks at a new advocacy project related to the upcoming SGR cuts.  In an effort to find a new way to reach out to legislators, we have been working with ACP chapter leaders to send video messages to Congress about the devastating effect this payment cut will have on your practices.

The current Medicare rate extension is set to run out at the end of the month.  I hope that in our next issue we’ll have good news to report to you on that front.  In the meantime, hearing directly from their constituents is crucial to influencing legislators.  Go to ACP’s Legislative Action Center for information on how you can help get the word to Congress.

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
» How Election Results May Affect Health Policy
  GOP gains unlikely to undo health reforms but could lead to changes

The Republican party's decisive victory in the midterm elections may not result in all-out repeal of the nation's health reform law in the next two years, but it may very well heighten pressure to undo various health programs and provisions.

Repu... » Click to read the full article

» Medicare Opts to Allow More Internists to Qualify for Primary Care Bonus
  Final rule incorporates changes urged by ACP

ACP helped score an important victory for office-based internists when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to change how it planned to calculate which physicians are eligible for a 10 percent bonus in payments for office visits and ... » Click to read the full article

» Physician Pay Cut Looms Again
  In video messages, ACP leaders implore Congress to prevent steep reduction in Medicare, TRICARE payments

A lame duck session of Congress must decide whether to spare physicians from a 23 percent cut in Medicare payments set to take effect Dec. 1 and an additional 1.7 percent reduction on Jan. 1.

With little time to deliberate, it's considered unlike... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Find Out More about the New Medicare Primary Care Bonus
To help you better anticipate the changes you may see as a result of the new Primary Care Incentive Payment program ACP has developed a set of questions and answers about the bonus payments. Find out how CMS will determine who is eligible; whether or not you qualify; and, how much you may expect to receive.

Medicare Participation Change Period Now Open
From now until Dec. 31 you have the opportunity to change your participation status with Medicare. The AMA has developed a set of comprehensive materials to better help you weigh your options and make the best decision for your practice. You may be particularly interested in the Medicare Payment Calculator that can help you estimate your total Medicare revenue change for switching to a non-participation status.

Internship Opportunity in ACP’s Washington Office
The College’s Washington office is now accepting applications for a newly-created Health Policy Internship Program. The interns will work with ACP staff to plan ACP’s annual Leadership Day and will be responsible for researching and presenting students and residents at Leadership Day with information on health policy issues relevant to those groups. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited medical school or internal medicine training program and a member of ACP. One Associate member and one medical student member will be chosen for the month-long, spring internship. Additional details are available on the College website.

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