New Resources to Help You Understand Health Care Reform

The ACP Advocate

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September 24, 2010
In this issue
» New Guides Elucidate Health-Reform Law

» When Assessing Price and Performance, Transparency is Key

» Americans Turning to Emergency Departments for Care

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.

As many of you probably already know, yesterday marked the sixth month anniversary of health care reform being signed into law.  Our first story this week looks at two guides ACP has developed that can help you understand the many varied provisions of the legislation.  The first is an update on An Internist’s Practical Guide to Understanding Health Reform, written to help you understand the aspects of the law that are most likely to affect you and your practice.  The second guide, written jointly with AARP, is designed for you to share with your patients to help them better understand what the changes might mean for them.


Our second story this week details a new policy paper on health care transparency from our Medical Service Policy Committee.  The paper reaffirms the College’s support for increased transparency and examines the many issues and challenges faced in working toward this goal.


Finally, our third story today lets you know about a new study of where Americans receive their health care.  Published in Health Affairs, the study found that less than half of acute care outpatient visits are made to a primary care physician. 

For more coverage of what’s happening in Washington, take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty.  Now 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 Guides Elucidate Health-Reform Law
  ACP seeks to provide physicians and consumers with accurate information

Many internists and patients alike are still grappling with the multitude of changes taking place as a result of national health-reform legislation enacted six months ago.

"Right now there's an awful lot of confusion both about exactly what ha... » Click to read the full article

» When Assessing Price and Performance, Transparency is Key
  New ACP policy paper suggests ways to ensure information is fair and beneficial

Increasing transparency in health-care pricing and performance can benefit both patients and physicians, as long as the information gathered and disseminated takes into account practice realities and is done using valid measures, according to a new policy ... » Click to read the full article

» Americans Turning to Emergency Departments for Care
  Author of new study says that under-valuing of primary doctors needs to change

Americans are increasingly turning to emergency departments and subspecialists rather than their personal physicians for acute care, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on more than a billion outpatient visits made between 2001 and 200... » Click to read the full article

In focus
CMS Simplifies Access to PQRI Reports
CMS has created an alternative process to allow particpants to access their Physician Quality Reporting Initiative feedback reports. The new process uses NPIs instead of requiring an additional registration on the CMS website. ACP was active in advocating to CMS that they reduce the complexity in accessing the physician feedback reports.

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