Welcome to The ACP Advocate
First, as you've all obviously heard, the Supreme Court announced yesterday that it upheld the Affordable Care Act. We are pleased that by favorably resolving the constitutional questions, the decision will allow implementation of the key ACP-supported provisions of the law to expand and improve coverage, improve payments for internists' services, and support training of primary care physicians to move forward to full implementation. ACP understands that while this is the final say on the constitutionality of the health care reform law, this is by no means the end of the discussion on health care reform, and it will continue to be the subject of debate among voters and the ACP's own membership.
Yesterday ACP sent our initial reaction out to members of the press; you also should have all received an email from our President, David Bronson, MD, FACP overnight last night. If you've not had a chance to look at these materials yet, I encourage you to visit the Advocacy section of ACP online to check them out. And, also, stay tuned for the next issue of the Advocate on July 13th when we'll look more in-depth at the potential impact of yesterday's decision.
In other news, our first story this week looks at the upcoming transition to the ICD-10 code set. HHS recently pushed back the start date to October 2014, but there is still a lot of work that needs to happen between now and then to make this transition successful.
Also, our second story today looks at the June MedPAC report that was released recently. The report included some important recommendations looking to control the Medicare budget, but, also promisingly, it contained recommendations to start paying physicians for the care coordination services so many of you are already providing.
Finally, our last story examines an idea that we discussed with legislators during Leadership Day at the beginning of the month: health courts. Take a look at the article to find out more, we're excited about the potential this concept could hold for improving our malpractice system.
For more coverage of what's happening in Washington, especially over the next few weeks as the health care decision is explored, 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.
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians