New Legislation Proposes to Eliminate Medicare SGR Problems

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May 25, 2012
In this issue
» New Bill Aims to Repeal Medicare Payment Formula

» As Health Care Changes, So May the Role of Patients and Families

» Uninsured Patients May Heighten Risks for Those With Insurance

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

In our first story this week, I’m excited to tell you about a new House bill that proposes to eliminate the SGR.  The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2012, introduced by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), would permanently eliminate the recurring payment problems resulting from the flawed SGR formula, while at the same time transitioning us to new payment models.  For more on ACP’s take on the legislation, check out the Frequently Asked Questions about the legislation that are linked in the piece to the right of this letter.
Our second story this week is a wrap-up of the recent Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative meeting.  The focus of the April meeting was on the role that patients and their families play in transitioning to the Patient Centered Home model of care. 
Finally, our third story this week looks at a new study in the Journal of Health Economics.  I’m sure you’re all familiar with the statistics that show that patients without insurance live sicker and die younger.  This new study shows the detrimental effect that low rates of insurance can have on the health of even those of us who are insured.
Finally, I look forward to seeing many of you at ACP Leadership Day, taking place in Washington on June 6 and 7.  Look for our next issue on June 15 for coverage of the event.
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:

Yours truly,

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians          


In the news
» New Bill Aims to Repeal Medicare Payment Formula
  Legislation follows ACP framework for replacing SGR

The American College of Physicians is throwing its full support behind a new bipartisan bill that would permanently repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate, or SGR.

Introduced May 9 by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.),... » Click to read the full article

» As Health Care Changes, So May the Role of Patients and Families
  Conference notes increased desire for greater service, over episodic care

Collaborative care served as the focus of a recent two-day conference on the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, with speakers arguing that improved engagement with patients and their families will give physicians a leg up in coming changes under health c... » Click to read the full article

» Uninsured Patients May Heighten Risks for Those With Insurance
  New study suggests a spillover effect from appropriation of resources

If you're having a heart attack and have health insurance, it appears that you're more likely to survive if the patients around you also have health insurance.

A new study from the Journal of Health Economics concludes that universal insur... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Learn more about new bill to eliminate SGR
Recently, the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2012 was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill proposes to eliminate the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, stabilize Medicare payments to physicians, and gradually transition away from fee-for-service and move toward new payment models. Click the above link to find out more about what ACP feels this legislation will do for physicians.

AIMn 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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