Challenges facing the Affordable Care Act and News on the PCMH

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February 18, 2011
In this issue
» Attempts to Repeal Health Reform Hit a Wall, But Don't Go Away

» Affordable Care Act Faces Legal Challenges, Too

» New Standards Put More Focus on Patients for PCMH Accreditation

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 two stories this week focus on the Affordable Care Act and the challenges that the law is currently facing.  The first story covers the recent challenge in the Senate and what is likely to happen legislatively.  The second story covers the judicial challenges the law has been facing and whether those challenges are likely to move to the Supreme Court. 

Our last story this week lets you know about new standards for the Patient Centered Medical Home from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.  One important piece of these adjustments is that they integrate the federal standards for “meaningful use” of health IT into the model. 

Finally, a couple of additional important things have happened in Washington this week.  First, last Friday the House released a new continuing resolution bill.  This legislation is a temporary measure necessary to keep the federal budget (and government) running because Congress has not passed a budget for the current fiscal year.  There is currently a resolution in place that will run out on March 4.  The newly released version differs in that, instead of merely continuing most funding at current levels it includes some fairly severe cuts, including to many health care programs.  In the sidebar to the right of this letter you can read more about exactly what ACP’s take is on the cuts.

Also released this week was President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012.  We’ll have a more in-depth story for you about this budget proposal in our next Advocate, but in the meantime, you can read more of an extended take on the budget situation in my blog.

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
» Attempts to Repeal Health Reform Hit a Wall, But Don't Go Away
  Those opposed to the law are expected to seek amendments to end certain provisions

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives in January, failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate this month. But political observers say that won't end efforts to do away with or hobble the health care reform legislation.» Click to read the full article

» Affordable Care Act Faces Legal Challenges, Too
  As effort wends its way through the courts, state reactions vary

Efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act are now playing out in the federal court system, where 26 states filed a joint lawsuit against the federal government.

The primary point of contention is what's referred to as the individual mandate, wh... » Click to read the full article

» New Standards Put More Focus on Patients for PCMH Accreditation
  Revisions aims to ensure that system works for practices and patients alike

Though today's patient-centered medical homes have made strides in improving health care quality and efficiency, there's still room to become even more patient-focused, according to newly issued standards by an accrediting group.

The updated stan... » Click to read the full article

In focus
ACP Urges House to Preserve Funding for Programs to Reduce Primary Care Shortage
On Wednesday in a letter to House leadership, ACP President J. Fred Ralston, Jr, MD, FACP said that they needed to continue on a path towards reversing the unprecedented shortage of primary care physicians in this country. The letter was in reaction to the House’s Continuing Resolution bill that was released on Feb. 11. That bill included cuts to funding for Title VII programs, the NHSC, and Community Health Centers, among others.

Free Print Version of Health Care Reform Brochure Available
Print copies of the joint ACP and AARP Consumer Guide to Understanding Health System Reform (
) are now available for order. Available free in both English and Spanish the brochures are meant to be shared with your patients to answer their questions about health care reform. Guides will shipped in bundles of 100.

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