The Latest on Medicare Payments in Washington

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August 17, 2012
In this issue
» ACP Asks Congress to 'Repeal the SGR, Once and for All'

» Medicare Proposal Could Mean Fee Increases for Internists

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

Welcome to our August issue. Today's first story takes a look at what ACP has been up to in Washington over the past month. Your president, Dr. David Bronson, has twice testified before Congress about the issue of the Medicare SGR formula. In his testimony before the health subcommittees of both the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees, Dr. Bronson urged Congress to repeal the SGR, provide stable and positive updates to all physicians, and authorize additional payments to physicians who voluntarily choose to participate in new models to better align payments with value, including Patient-Centered Medical Homes.

Today's second story is an initial look at the proposed 2013 Medicare Fee Schedule that was published recently. The proposed rule includes several policy changes, advocated by ACP, to substantially increase Medicare payments to internists, including payment for the physician work associated with post-hospital discharge transition planning that is not included in the office visit fee. These and other changes would increase the average Medicare payments to internists by 5 percent next year, according to CMS, which would be in addition to the 10 percent primary care bonus payment that most internists already get because of the Affordable Care Act. We'll submit comments to CMS by the end of the month.

We'll be back after Labor Day, resuming our twice a month schedule. In the meantime, 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. My blog post this week discusses the differences--and surprising similarities---between the Romney/Ryan and Obama/Biden health care proposals. 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
» ACP Asks Congress to 'Repeal the SGR, Once and for All'
  Testimony before House committees reiterates preference for payment system that rewards value over volume

Making a case for permanent repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate and a transition to a new physician payment system for the federal health care program, the president of the American College of Physicians testified before two congressional subcom... » Click to read the full article

» Medicare Proposal Could Mean Fee Increases for Internists
  New codes cover physicians' work in transitioning patients from hospitals to community care

Medicare's proposed fee schedule for 2013 contains a number of provisions that, combined, will significantly increase pay for internists and family physicians, according to analysis by the American College of Physicians.

Most notably, the proposa... » Click to read the full article

In focus
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