What's happening with the Independent Payment Advisory Board

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March 23, 2012
In this issue
» Despite Congressional Attempts to Kill It, Medicare Board May Not Go Away

» Federal Program Aims to Boost Number of Primary Care Doctors

» 'Safety Net' Medical Coverage Cited as Aiding 50,000 People So Far

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

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law.  Over the past two years we’ve already seen the positive effect this law has had on increasing health insurance coverage, and there is still more to come in the new few years.  At least, I hope there is more to come.  On Monday, as many of you probably know, the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in the case against the ACA.  On Monday we’ll be issuing a statement looking back on the effects of the law and giving ACP’s perspective on the Supreme Court case.  Then, in our next issue of the Advocate, look for coverage of the arguments that will be taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now, to this issue. Our first story this week looks at one of the features of the health care reform law, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that would influence Medicare payments.  Three has been much argument in Congress against the board.  While ACP agrees that changes need to be made, we still believe that this type of cost-cutting measure could be a good move for Medicare.
Today’s second story is about the recent expansion in the National Health Service Corps.  We were extremely supportive of expanding the funding and number of participants in this program.  It’s critical to both supply physicians to underserved areas and to attract students to primary care.  The application period for next year’s program is now open, so if this is something you might be interested in, I’d encourage you to check out the link to the right of this letter.

And, finally, our last story today looks at the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that was put in place as part of the ACA.  The administration recently announced that almost 50,000 people have been able to take advantage of this plan to obtain health coverage. 

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
» Despite Congressional Attempts to Kill It, Medicare Board May Not Go Away
  Preserving the concept but tweaking its power would be preferable, ACP official says

A bipartisan move in Congress to repeal a Medicare cost-cutting board is likely to go nowhere, said Bob Doherty, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy for the American College of Physicians.

Legislation to kill the Indep... » Click to read the full article

» Federal Program Aims to Boost Number of Primary Care Doctors
  Selected medical students will get student loans repaid in exchange for service

A new federal program will repay $9.1 million in student loans for 77 fourth-year medical students who, in turn, will serve a stint as primary care doctors in areas with a shortage of health care professionals.

The Students to Service Loan Repaym... » Click to read the full article

» 'Safety Net' Medical Coverage Cited as Aiding 50,000 People So Far
  Noted downsides, however, include fewer enrollees than expected and higher costs

A stop-gap federal program for the uninsured has helped nearly 50,000 people with pre-existing conditions obtain health coverage, according to a new government report.

Established by the Affordable Care Act, the $5 billion program was set up to h... » Click to read the full article

In focus
NHSC 2012 Application Period Open
Are you interested in the National Health Service Corps? You could help serve an underserved community, and at the same time, earn loan repayment. Applications are due by May 15 and awards will be announced at the end of September.

Visit the Advocacy Sessions at IM12
If you’ll be in New Orleans, be sure to check out some of the advocacy related sessions being held at Internal Medicine 2012. On 4/19, 4:30 to 5:30 in PN018, How is Health Care Reform Going to Affect You and Your Patients? On 4/20, 7 to 8 in PN019, How Will the 2012 Elections Impact the U.S. Health Care System?, featuring Thomas Miller from the American Enterprise Institute and Dr. Kavita Patel from Brookings. Also on 4/20, 8:15 to 9:15 in PN008, The Role of Subspecialists in the Patient Centered Medical Home. And, on 4/21, 7 to 8 in PN017, Confronting the Need to Conserve Health Care Resources, featuring Stuart Gutterman from the Commonwealth Fund.

Are you having problems with eRx?
Have you been subject to a Medicare eRx payment penalty despite a pending application for a hardship exemption? If you have been unable to resolve the situation with CMS, please take a moment to fill out the form at the above link to let us know about your situation.

AIMn Now on Twitter
Get the latest information about the College’s advocacy efforts and the Advocates for Internal Medicine network (AIMn) through a new Twitter feed, Advocates for IM. There you will find the latest information about the activities of the College’s government affairs office and the hot topics in Washington.

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