What will the State of the Union and Budget Mean for Reform?

The ACP Advocate

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February 05, 2010
In this issue
» Health Reform Idles as Politicians Regroup

» Obama's Challenge to Congress: 'Don't Walk Away From Reform'

» Time Spent Waiting for a Doctor is About to Get Shorter in California

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.

Our first story this week again examines the issue of health care reform.  We detail what Congress might have to do to again start moving forward toward reform.  Our second article takes a look at the administration’s recent State of the Union address and the President’s Budget.  We let you know how the proposals in both of these may affect our priorities and the push for health care reform. 

Our third article this week looks at a new regulation that will go into effect next year in California.  The new law sets maximum times that HMO patients will have to wait for a doctor’s appointment. 

Also, our annual State of the Nation’s Health Care briefing is coming up next week.  Our president, Joe Stubbs, and I will address reporters at the National Press Club in D.C. to tell them what we think needs to happen to ensure health care reform becomes a reality.

Finally, 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.  Also, I’m happy to let you know the blog is a finalist in the sixth annual Medical Weblog Awards for the best Health Policy/Ethics Weblog.  Voting began on Jan. 27 and will close at midnight on Feb. 14.  Please take a moment to vote for the ACP Advocate Blog. 

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
» Health Reform Idles as Politicians Regroup
  ACP intends to continue pushing for meaningful changes

Roiled by the GOP's victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, Democratic leaders in Congress continue to send mixed messages about what their next move on health reform might be.

And though the White House remains committed to passing health-re... » Click to read the full article

» Obama's Challenge to Congress: 'Don't Walk Away From Reform'
  Health-care takes a back seat to jobs, but administration says it is not abandoning the fight

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to continue working toward health reform legislation that would bring coverage to the uninsured and halt the worst practices of the insurance industry.

"If anyone from either party has a better appr... » Click to read the full article

» Time Spent Waiting for a Doctor is About to Get Shorter in California
  New state regulations mandate 'timely access' among HMOs

Next year, California will become the first state in the nation with rules that spell out how long patients in managed-care plans have to wait to see a doctor.

The rules will require that patients in HMOs be seen within:

10 bu... » Click to read the full article

In focus
New Practice Improvement Webinars
The College just launched a new quality improvement Webinars series, “Charting Your Way to Practice Improvement: Webinars for the 21st Century Patient-Centered Practice.” Available at no charge to users of the ACP Medical Home Builder (more about the MHB here) and their staff, the interactive Webinars will cover why quality improvement should be important to your practice and practical ways you can improve your practice. The first was held this past Tuesday, with the series continuing through the summer.

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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