What will the Super Committee failure mean for health care?

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December 02, 2011
In this issue
» Super Committee Failure Leaves Physicians and Health Care Programs in the Lurch

» Once Again, Physicians Face Prospect of Major Medicare Cuts

» Fate of Health Care Reform Law Now Rests With Supreme Court

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

A lot has happened in Washington since our last issue.  As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, last week the super committee announced that it failed to come to an agreement on a plan for federal budget cuts.  In our first article this week we look at what the failure of this process might mean for health care and what the consequences will be of an across-the-board cut.
Our second article also touches on the super committee failure and what it means for the Medicare SGR cut that is looming at the end of the year.  Check out the article for information on a new legislative framework from Rep. Schwartz of Pennsylvania.  We strongly support her ideas and are hopeful that something will be done this year.
Finally, our last story is something else you have probably heard about in the news. The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the health care reform law in the spring.  Our article today looks at the possibility of the Court ruling against the individual mandate while leaving the rest of the law intact.
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:  TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

Yours truly,

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians      

In the news
» Super Committee Failure Leaves Physicians and Health Care Programs in the Lurch
  Funding for medical research, food and drug safety and disease prevention all are at risk, ACP experts say

The failure of the congressional "super committee" to reach a federal deficit-reduction deal could have a devastating impact on America's health care system, according to officials from the American College of Physicians.

"Left in the wreckage of... » Click to read the full article

» Once Again, Physicians Face Prospect of Major Medicare Cuts
  ACP continues to urge that a permanent fix be found for flawed system

The congressional super committee's failure to agree on a deficit-reduction plan has left physicians once again on the brink of a dramatic cutback in Medicare reimbursements.

The American College of Physicians had used an e-mail campaign to urge ... » Click to read the full article

» Fate of Health Care Reform Law Now Rests With Supreme Court
  Experts weigh in on what's described as a 'hugely consequential case'

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear in March a challenge to the 2010 health care reform law that targets the "individual mandate," the part of the law requiring all Americans to either carry health insurance or face a penalty.

Just what the... » Click to read the full article

In focus
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.

2012 ACP Health Policy Interns Selected
Athanasios Manole, a second year medical student at the University of New Mexico and Tiffany Groover, a second-year primary care/internal medicine resident at Boston Medical Center have been selected as the 2012 ACP Health Policy Interns. They will work in ACP’s Washington office for four weeks in May learning about the College’s advocacy work and preparing a briefing for student and associate members at the 2012 Leadership Day.

Version 5010 Deadline Looms
The Jan. 1 deadline to comply with Version 5010 electronic administrative transactions is only 115 days away. On Jan. 1, all health insurers, not just Medicare and Medicaid, will only accept electronic transactions that use the Version 5010 standards. Practices that do not successfully transition to Version 5010 will find that their claims cannot be processed – and therefore, cannot be paid. Practices need to work with the vendors, clearinghouses, and payers of their practice management systems and electronic health record to begin testing for Version 5010 compliance. Visit the CMS website at the link above for a checklist of how to get ready.

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