Are you ready for ICD-10?; and, staffing changes in Washington

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March 18, 2011
In this issue
» States Gain Presidential Nod to Flexibility in Health Care Reform

» Major Change Nears in Coding Procedures

» ACP Names New Director of Regulatory Affairs



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.

This week we start off by letting you know about some of the discussion that’s been happening in Washington surrounding the health care reform legislation.  Recently, in a statement at the White House, President Obama indicated that he believed that states should have discretion in being able to determine exactly how they set up new plans, as long as they meet the minimum coverage requirements of the ACA.  ACP is very supportive of this concept, and I believe this is the type of common-sense approach that needs to be taken to implementation of the law.

Our second story this week is an overview of the quickly approaching ICD-10 coding system.  While 2013 may seem like the distant future, this will be a complicated transition.  Starting to get ready early will help to ensure that things go smoothly for your practice.  I encourage you to watch for more news and resources on ICD-10 implementation from us over the next few years.

Finally, our last story tells you about a staffing change in our Washington office.  As of this week, we have a new Director of Regulatory and Insurer Affairs, Shari Erickson.  Shari’s role and department will be crucial to us over the next few years as we begin to sort out all of the new regulations resulting from health care reform.

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
» States Gain Presidential Nod to Flexibility in Health Care Reform
  Block grants and insurance subsidies may be on states' wish lists
 

President Obama's recent gesture to boost states' flexibility in implementing the Affordable Care Act might have been aimed at deflecting ongoing criticism over the issue. But political observers say that states may be receptive if they feel they have bett... » Click to read the full article


» Major Change Nears in Coding Procedures
  Practices urged to start work on transition that will see diagnosis codes increase from 13,000 to 68,000
 

With a major switch in required coding practices on the horizon, physicians are being urged to start preparations now to avoid running out of time and facing a difficult transition in 2013.

The change is occurring in the International Classificat... » Click to read the full article


» ACP Names New Director of Regulatory Affairs
  Shari Erickson will be tasked with navigating the arena that determines how a law takes effect
 

Though the laws passed by Congress are important, the nitty-gritty of how those laws will be implemented -- and how they will affect physicians' practices -- falls within a lesser-known part of the federal government: the world of rules and regulations.» Click to read the full article


In focus
Attending IM 2011 in San Diego?
If you’re at the meeting in San Diego, below is a list of policy- related sessions you may be interested in. Also, make sure to visit the Government Affairs and Public Policy booth at the ACP Resource Center in the exhibit hall. All sessions are on Fri., April 8. ***PN 029- 60 Minutes: Special Report on Hot Issues in Health Policy; 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM Room: 3 ***PN 030 - How Will Health Care Reform Affect Internists and Their Patients?; 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Room: Ballroom 20 A ***PN001 -Internal Medicine Workforce: Challenges and Solutions for Meeting the Nation’s Demand for General Internists and Subspecialists; 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Room: 4

Health Care and You: A new patient resource
Health Care and You.org is a a new resource to help your patients understand the impact of the health care reform law. It provides state-by-state information about the changes that have already taken place and those provisions still on the way. The information is organized to allow users to view by age-group, or view information of special importance for small business owners. Look for updates as changes or amendments to law take place.

Free Print Version of Health Care Reform Brochure Available
Print copies of the joint ACP and AARP Consumer Guide to Understanding Health System Reform (www.acponline.org/
healthlawconsumerinfo
) 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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