The Latest on the Fiscal Cliff and Medicare

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December 07, 2012
In this issue
» Wrangling in Washington Over Fiscal Cliff Issues Could Hold Peril for Physicians

» Physicians Urged to Report Data on Quality of Care to Avert Penalties

» New Health Regs Bring Clarity for Insurers

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

Our first story today opens with the big issue in Washington these days: the "fiscal cliff" consisting of scheduled Medicare physician payment cuts, expiring tax breaks, and scheduled across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration). While Congress is debating a path forward to, I hope, prevent the cuts, ACP has been hard at work letting them know about internists' concerns related to the cuts.

Today’s second story is an update for you on the Physicians Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for 2013.  As I hope that most of you have already heard, next year is a big year for this program.  Physicians who do not participate in this program in 2013 will be subject to a penalty of 1.5% on their 2015 Medicare payments.  It’s important to read the article and make sure that you’re ready to report.  Also, if you’re not already familiar with it, I encourage you to check out ACP’s PQRI Wizard, a web-based tool that can help you meet the PQRS requirements.

Finally, our last story today comes to you courtesy of the National Journal publications.  They have an update for you on new Affordable Care Act regulations that were released at the end of November and will govern requirements for health insurance plans under the health care reform law.

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
» Wrangling in Washington Over Fiscal Cliff Issues Could Hold Peril for Physicians
  ACP calls on its members to speak up and pressure lawmakers to reach a compromise

Physicians ought to prepare for the worst as the United States approaches the so-called fiscal cliff, a perfect storm of tax increases and program cuts that some fear would prove devastating to the economy.

That warning, from ... » Click to read the full article

» Physicians Urged to Report Data on Quality of Care to Avert Penalties
  ACP offers online tool to ease the process

Physicians will need to take part next year in a quality-of-care reporting system under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or face financial penalties in years to come, said Shari Erickson, director of regulatory and insurer... » Click to read the full article

» New Health Regs Bring Clarity for Insurers
  From the National Journal publications, November 20, 2012

It was a clarifying, if not entirely cheerful, day for the insurance industry on Tuesday, as the Obama administration released long-awaited regulations about how insura... » Click to read the full article

In focus
College Advice on Planning for Potential Pay Cuts
ACP has posted a page on the Running a Practice section of the College website with information about the status of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Congress and advice on planning for the potential that the cuts are not averted. Please check back for updates on this page as we move closer to the Jan. 1 deadline.

ACP and Others Say Medicaid Pay Parity Must Stay
On Wednesday the College joined over 100 other physician groups in telling congressional leadership that they are strongly opposed to eliminating the Medicaid primary care payment increases in order to fund a solution to the fiscal cliff.

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