The Latest on Medicare Payments

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December 16, 2011
In this issue
» No Resolution Yet for Looming Cut in Medicare Reimbursements

» ACP Urges Doctors to Get Schooled on e-Rx and PCIP

» Government sweetens the deal on electronic health records

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 is an update for you with the latest information about congressional action on Medicare payments.  While the Medicare SGR cut is still currently scheduled to take place on January 1, we remain hopeful that Congress will overcome its partisan gridlock and agree in the next few days on a bipartisan plan to prevent the cut.  We are doing everything we can to get Congress to act to prevent those devastating cuts from hitting your practices; at the same time, we keep reminding them that the answer is not just another short-term reprieve--we need a permanent solution.  

In our second story we remind you about a couple of ways you may see your Medicare payments positively affected in the New Year.  The Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program and the Primary Care Incentive Payment Program both present an opportunity to earn a little extra from CMS.

And, our last story this issue is information about a new announcement from the administration about how they intend to encourage EHR use.  While the latest news from HHS shows that the number of physicians using EHR systems is on the rise, we need more programs in place to ensure that the trend continues.
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
» No Resolution Yet for Looming Cut in Medicare Reimbursements
  Congressional wrangling may lead to another temporary fix

Any congressional resolution of a pending 27 percent cut to Medicare payments will probably come down to the wire, with a final compromise coming days or hours before -- or perhaps even after -- the Jan. 1 deadline for implementation, according to predicti... » Click to read the full article

» ACP Urges Doctors to Get Schooled on e-Rx and PCIP
  Medicare programs offer financial incentives to those who participate, possible penalties to those who don't

Looking ahead to the new year, physicians should be aware of two Medicare-run programs that could help improve their practice's bottom line, according to ACP's advocacy team in Washington.

Medicare's electronic prescribing, or e-Rx, program and t... » Click to read the full article

» Government sweetens the deal on electronic health records
  Change to incentive program comes as more doctors and hospitals adopt new technology

As the medical world switches to electronic health records in increasing numbers, the federal government is making it even easier to do so.

The Obama administration has relaxed standards for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs for use of... » Click to read the full article

In focus
CMS Delays Version 5010 Enforcement
CMS has announced that they will not enforce Version 5010 compliance for 90 days after the Jan. 1 compliance date. This effectively moves the date to March 31. ACP strongly encourages its members to continue their Version 5010 implementation programs as all health insurers, not just Medicare and Medicaid will be transitioning to the new electronic transactions standards. Practices that do not successfully transition to Version 5010 will find that their claims cannot be processed - and therefore, cannot be paid.

Date Change for Leadership Day
The dates for the 2012 ACP Services Leadership Day have been changed to June 6 & 7, 2012. Due to a recently-learned conflict with the congressional calendar for the previously scheduled May dates, the event has been moved to after Memorial Day. The location and other details remain the same. Please note the change on your calendar.

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