What Health Care Issues will Washington Work on this Fall?

The ACP Advocate

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September 10, 2010
In this issue
» Election-Year Politics May Slow Health-Care Actions

» ACP Urges Care in Use of Incentives to Encourage Healthy Behavior

» Job Loss and Economy Impacting Family Health

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.

Summer is over, cool weather returned to Washington yesterday, which must mean it’s time for Congress to return from summer recess and resume their work.  Our lawmakers won’t actually return to session until Monday, but our first article this week gives you a preview of some of the healthcare issues they’ll likely tackle this fall.


Our second story this week looks at a new policy paper produced by our Center for Ethics and Professionalism.  Ethical Considerations for the Use of Patient Incentives to Promote Personal Responsibility for Health:  West Virginia Medicaid and Beyond looks at how incentive programs might be used to move patient behavior.  The paper takes an interesting look at what are some of the benefits (and some of the unintended pitfalls) of incentivizing patients.


Finally, our third story this week examines a new study that outlines how the recent economic downturn is affecting spending on health care services.

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:  TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

Yours truly,

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


In the news
» Election-Year Politics May Slow Health-Care Actions
  Medicare payment fix, health-reform interpretations on tap this fall

Congress is unlikely to take up health-related matters before the November elections, health policy experts are forecasting.

And with the exception of a temporary patch to extend Medicare physician payments, health issues will probably remain o... » Click to read the full article

» ACP Urges Care in Use of Incentives to Encourage Healthy Behavior
  New position paper details how unintended consequences can punish patients

Incentive programs have the potential to help promote better health among patients, but employers and insurers who often sponsor such programs need to make sure the efforts don't penalize patients who make poor choices by limiting their access to medical... » Click to read the full article

» Job Loss and Economy Impacting Family Health
  Faced with hard choices, many cut back on routine medical care, survey says

Job losses and economic distress are prompting many American families to cut back on routine medical care, according to a report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

More than one in four Americans surveyed said they had red... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Begin Preparing for ICD-10 Now
There is still time to register for CMS’s Monday conference call on ICD-10 implementation. The hour and a half call for providers will go over basic information on the new ICD-10 coding system being readied for 2013 and how the new code set will interrelate with HIPAA. Registration closes at noon today. If you’re unable to listen to the call live audio and written transcripts will be available two weeks after the call.

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