Comprehensive Health Care Reform Enacted

The ACP Advocate

Please click here if the e-mail below is not displayed correctly.
To ensure that you always receive our newsletter, please add the e-mail address "" to your address book.

April 02, 2010
In this issue
» Health Reform Advances Key Priorities

» Rules on Electronic Records Could Burden Practices

» States Consider Challenging New Insurance Mandate

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.

Well, as I'm sure you've all heard by now health care reform has finally become law.  Our first story this week takes a closer look at some of the implications of the legislation.  We at ACP believe that the new law will advance key ACP policies and have short and long-term benefits for both physicians and your patients.  At the same time, we recognize that the full impact of the law is uncertain, it does not include everything we sought, and it has some provisions we don't support.   As the law is rolled out, we are committed to influencing its implementation in accord with ACP policies, to providing you with practical information on what it means, and to seeking legislative revisions as required.

Our second story this week looks at the rules governing the incentive payments for health information technology that were included in the in economic stimulus legislation last year.  ACP's initial analysis is not encouraging; it shows that the guidelines will be too burdensome.  However, the good news is that guidelines are still only a proposed rule.  We have sent comments to HHS and hope that many of our suggestions will be included in the final guidelines when they are released.

Our final story again focuses on health care reform.  This time we take a look at the viability of states’ challenges to the mandatory insurance coverage provision.

For more coverage of what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  

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
» Health Reform Advances Key Priorities
  New law is a beginning, but not an end, ACP president says

Though vowing to seek additional enhancements, the American College of Physicians praised the recent passage of national health-reform legislation, including provisions that will benefit internal medicine physicians and their patients.

"This h... » Click to read the full article

» Rules on Electronic Records Could Burden Practices
  ACP points out potential pitfalls in proposed federal guidelines

The federal government's proposed guidelines for what constitutes "meaningful use" of electronic health records technology are overly complex and too time-consuming for most practices to implement by 2011, according to an analysis by the American College o... » Click to read the full article

» States Consider Challenging New Insurance Mandate
  Opposition contends requirement is unconstitutional

A federal requirement that everyone have health insurance -- part of the landmark health-care reform bill signed March 23 by President Obama -- is prompting a states'-rights backlash opposing the mandate. But legal scholars disagree about how far the chall... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Congress Expected to Fix April 1 Medicare Payment Cut
Twice this year Congress passed extensions to avoid the 21% Medicare pay cut that was included in this year’s Physician Fee Schedule. The last extension ran out on April 1. The House passed legislation that would temporarily extend the current rates until May 1, however, the Senate left for spring recess without passing the bill. CMS has instructed its contractors to hold physician Medicare claims for the first 10 business days of April. Provided that, as expected, the Senate acts promptly on legislation after returning on April 12, current payment levels will continue without interruption.

If you don't want to receive this newsletter anymore, unsubscribe here.

© Copyright 2010 American College of Physicians. All rights reserved.
Washington Office | 25 Massachusetts Ave., NW | Washington, DC 20001-7401 | Phone: (800) 338-2746

Featuring articles produced by HealthDay's Custom Content Division

Delivered by HEALTHBANKS, INC. • 15 New England Executive Park • Burlington, MA 01803