What ACP had to say to the Super Committee

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September 23, 2011
In this issue
» ACP Recommends Cornucopia of Budget Cuts to 'Super Committee'

» Penalties Loom for Those Not E-Prescribing

» Study Puts Rising Health Care Costs in Perspective

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
Our first story this week gives you details on ACP’s perspective on one of the big stories in Washington right now:  the Super Committee on Deficit Reduction.  The story tells you about our advice to the Committee on its recommendations to reduce the federal deficit, which are expected to include major changes in Medicare and other health programs.  ACP has urged the committee to include in its recommendations repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and continued support for internal medicine GME training programs, while offering ideas to restrain federal spending in a responsible way.

In our second story this week, we update you on some changes to the Medicare eRx program.  Under new rules, physicians who are not able to e-prescribe may be eligible for an exemption that will allow them to avoid the payment penalty.  The time to act is short; applications for an exemption must be filed by Nov. 1, so I encourage you to read the story and see whether or not it may apply to you.
Finally, our last story this week looks at a new study showing that rising health care costs are swallowing up almost half of all income gains that Americans have made over the past decade.  Studies like this show us again and again, why it is so necessary that we look for ways to control costs while still providing quality care.  
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:  TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

Yours truly,

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

In the news
» ACP Recommends Cornucopia of Budget Cuts to 'Super Committee'
  Suggested options aim to eliminate waste but maintain key programs and priorities

The American College of Physicians has developed a menu of options to cut federal health care outlays by hundreds of billions of dollars and has sent its suggestions to the new congressional "super committee," tasked with trimming federal expenditures.

... » Click to read the full article

» Penalties Loom for Those Not E-Prescribing
  Changes to Medicare rules affect incentives, sanctions and exemptions

The proverbial clock is ticking on the federal government's effort to bring physicians' prescriptions into the computer age.

Mandatory electronic prescribing has been in a ramp-up stage for some time, but for the first time, penalties are being i... » Click to read the full article

» Study Puts Rising Health Care Costs in Perspective
  Increases have taken a toll on average American family's discretionary spending, researchers say

Over the last decade, soaring health care costs have swallowed up a large chunk of the income gains made by the average American family, according to new research published in the September issue of Health Affairs.

The study found that fro... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Are you on Twitter?
If so, we encourage you to follow the College’s Twitter feed, @ACPInternists. There you’ll find College news, as well as occasional information on advocacy. For complete advocacy coverage on Twitter also follow Bob Doherty at @BobDohertyACP. Additionally, Twitter gives you the opportunity to follow your Member of Congress. Over 250 Members are now on Twitter. A list of Twitter usernames is available on TweetCongress.

Become an ACP Health Policy Intern
The internship is open to associate and medical student members. This Internship represents a unique opportunity for one Associate and one Medical Student Member to develop legislative knowledge and advocacy skills by working directly with the College’s Washington, D.C., staff and participating in ACP’s 2012 annual Leadership Day. The deadline for applications is October 14.

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