ACP Holds Annual State of the Nation's Health Care Briefing

The ACP Advocate

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February 19, 2010
In this issue
» ACP Implores Action on Essential Health Reforms

» Can White House Salvage Health Reform?

» New Federal Rules Aim to Improve Mental Health Coverage

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.

On Wednesday we held ACP’s annual State of the Nation’s Health Care briefing at the National Press Club in Washington.  At the event ACP President Joe Stubbs and I spoke to reporters about the urgent need to move forward with health care reform.  Our first story this week takes a closer look at what we had to say at our briefing.

Our second story also examines the issue of health care reform.  We look at the President’s decision to convene a bipartisan summit on Feb. 25 to hear ideas from both political parties on how to move forward on health care reform.  Also, we provide an update on where things stand in Congress on averting a scheduled 21% Medicare physician payment cut on March 1.  Since Congress is expected to take up the Medicare pay cut issue next week, check ACP’s Running a Practice Web site for the latest developments. 

Finally, our third story this week looks at the new mental health parity regulations that will take effect this summer.  ACP strongly supported the effort to pass this legislation, and while the specifics of the regulation are not yet final, we are hopeful that these new rules will be of great benefit for patients seeking mental health treatment.

For more coverage of health care reform and what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  I’m happy to tell you that the blog was the winner of the best Health Policy/Ethics Weblog category of the Medical Weblog Awards.  Thanks to those of you who voted.

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
» ACP Implores Action on Essential Health Reforms
  In 'State of the Nation's Health Care' briefing, Dr. Stubbs says 'now is the time' to stop the decline

A highly partisan and protracted debate over health-reform legislation has diverted attention from the dire need to implement essential changes and improve health-care delivery in the United States, leaders of the American College of Physicians said Wednes... » Click to read the full article

» Can White House Salvage Health Reform?
  Obama invites GOP to White House summit; SGR cuts loom

The White House is preparing to host a nationally televised health care summit Feb. 25 involving key Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate.

By reaching out to members of the GOP, President Barack Obama is attempting to answ... » Click to read the full article

» New Federal Rules Aim to Improve Mental Health Coverage
  Group health benefits will have to be comparable to those for other care

People in need of treatment for mental health or substance abuse problems should have an easier time getting insurance coverage for their care, thanks to new rules issued by the federal government.

The rules require that group health insuranc... » Click to read the full article

In focus
How will changes to Medicare in 2010 affect your practice?
The College has compiled, on our Running a Practice Web site, a summary of the changes to Medicare in 2010 that will most affect internists. The summary covers the overall impact of payment changes; how to adjust your coding to accommodate the elimination of consultation codes; and how to take advantage of incentive programs that could help you earn more in 2010.

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