Government and the Patient-Physician Relationship; Medicare and the Election

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September 07, 2012
In this issue
» ACP Urges Politicians to Restrain From Meddling in Physician-Patient Relationship

» Changes to Electronic Claims Payments Expected to Ease Burden on Physicians

» Medicare Becomes Hot Topic as Election Season Begins in Earnest

» Things to Know About the Medicare Debate

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

We're back into the swing of things here in Washington. Today's first story takes a look at a new policy that we released out of Washington. Our Statement of Principles on the Role of Governments in Regulating the Patient-Physician Relationship lays out in specific detail how to evaluate new legislation that has the potential to intrude on the patient-physician relationship. As we've seen increasing incidence of these types of laws in recent years, I'm sure this paper will be invaluable in evaluating them with a discerning eye.

Our second story today looks at a new regulation from HHS designed to lessen your administrative hassles related to electronic transfers. The rule doesn't go into effect for over a year, but we're hopeful that as payers begin adopting the new standards that you'll begin to see a benefit before the compliance date.

Our third and fourth stories today look at how the issue of Medicare reform is having an impact on the election. The latest polls show that Medicare is a key issue for many voters. We explain how Medicare may play out in the election, and also, give you the facts on the misleading accusations from both parties and their presidential candidates. Over the next two months as we move closer to Election Day we'll keep you informed about what the candidates are saying related to these issues.

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:

Yours truly,

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


In the news
» ACP Urges Politicians to Restrain From Meddling in Physician-Patient Relationship
  New position paper stresses need to preserve doctors' ability to provide the best possible care

State and federal legislators should think twice before passing laws that tamper with the physician-patient relationship, according to a new position paper released by the American College of Physicians.

The Statement of Pr... » Click to read the full article

» Changes to Electronic Claims Payments Expected to Ease Burden on Physicians
  New rule will allow doctors to spend more time on patients, less on paperwork, HHS claims

The Obama administration has announced a new rule that will cut red tape for physicians, hospitals and health plans by improving the way electronic fund transfers are made for health insurance claims.

The new rule follows thro... » Click to read the full article

» Medicare Becomes Hot Topic as Election Season Begins in Earnest
  Candidates and the public alike show heightened interest in the program's future

Though Medicare rolls off the tongues of national politicians during every election season, this time around it's getting extra exposure in the spotlight. Some political and health care experts think its future may become an even bigger... » Click to read the full article

» Things to Know About the Medicare Debate

• Below are 10 oft-distorted facts about the Medicare program and plans for it.

• Here is an ACP policy paper on Medicare that was released in April 2012: Reforming Medicare in the Age of Deficit Reduction. ... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Apply for the 2013 Health Policy Internship
Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 ACP Health Policy Internship program. The internship, which takes place in spring 2013, provides one Associate member and one Medical Student member with opportunities to gain legislative knowledge and advocacy skills while working with the College’s Washington office to prepare for ACP’s annual Leadership Day. Applications are due by Oct. 22.

Help us Improve ACP's Advocacy Website
We need your feedback. We are conducting a short survey to help improve the Advocacy section of the ACP website. Take the survey and be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

ACP Comments on Physician Fee Schedule
The College praised development of payments for care coordination and offered suggestions for incorporating the Patient Centered Medical Home into the Medicare Fee Schedule. It also commended CMS’s attention to improving payments for undervalued evaluation and management and care management services, said that improved payments for these services should not be restricted to a designated subset of specialties.

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