ACP Calls for Changes to GME: New Studies on EHRS and the PCMH

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January 25, 2013
In this issue
» ACP Urges Changes in Graduate Medical Education

» New Study Looks at Why Electronic Health Records Fall Short on Cost Savings

» Might Team-Based Medicine Eliminate the Primary Care Shortage?

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

Today’s first story updates you on testimony ACP provided to the IOM in December about Graduate Medical Education.  We believe that GME needs to be changed in order to encourage more medical students to become internists.  Check out the article for more about the changes that need to be made in order for that to happen.

Our second story is all about a new study on electronic health records (EHRs).  The study shows that as of yet, EHR systems have not achieved the system savings that had been previously projected.  Some savings may still come as EHRs are more widely adopted.  While they may not be achieving the major savings, EHRs are still important and should be fostered for the positive impact they can, and are having on patient care.

Finally, our last story is about another study.  This one is about the impact that team-based care, like the Patient-Centered Medical Home, could have on practice efficiency.  The study posits that the efficiencies found using these new care models could be sufficient to eliminate the current physician workforce shortage.  While I think that conclusion is overstated I encourage you to take a look at the article for more about what the study had to say and what is ACP’s take on it.

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.

Also, I encourage you to check out my article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, The Road to Health Reform:  What Physicians Can Expect Over the Next 4 Years.  The article discusses what physicians can expect as the U.S. continues its journey toward expanded access and coverage, controlling costs, and reforming payment and delivery systems.

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 Changes in Graduate Medical Education
  Preferential funding for internal medicine is among the points supported by the College

The Institute of Medicine is preparing to issue a report about the future of graduate medical education that could inspire significant change in a system that isn't churning out enough internists.

The problem? "Residents and ... » Click to read the full article

» New Study Looks at Why Electronic Health Records Fall Short on Cost Savings
  Experts agree on potential to improve patient care, despite problems with design and implementation

Electronic health records have failed to achieve the billions in cost savings predicted by early research into their potential, mainly because of problems with implementation and the technology itself, according to a new study by the R... » Click to read the full article

» Might Team-Based Medicine Eliminate the Primary Care Shortage?
  ACP takes issue with new study, saying it oversimplifies solution to a real problem

The current shortage of primary care physicians could be eliminated through the efficiencies created by team-oriented health care models like the Patient-Centered Medical Home, according to a new study.

But that may be stretch... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Contact Your State Medicaid Office About Enhanced Primary Care Payments
In 2013 primary care and related specialtiy physicians will see an increase in their Medcaid payment to make them at least equivalent to payments under Medicare. In order to ensure that you receive this increase you must contact your state Medicaid office. Each state has a different timeline and procedure to fulfill an “attestation” requirement to receive the payment increases and you need to contact your state to determine exactly what you need to do. Additional information about the enhanced payments is on the College website.

Deadline Approaching to File eRx Exemption
Jan. 31 is the deadline for physicians to file a Medicare e-Prescribing hardship exemption in order to avoid the 1.5% payment penalty in 2013. You may be eligible for an exemption: if you are unable to e-prescribe as a result of local, state or federal law; if you wrote fewer than 100 prescriptions between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012; if you practice in a rural area that doesn’t have sufficient high-speed internet access; or, if you practice in an area that does not have enough pharmacies that can do e-prescribing. Click on the link above for more information about filing for an exemption.

Opportunity to Train in Tobacco Control Advocacy
Apply by Jan. 31 for the opportunity to be trained as a physician leader in tobacco control advocacy. ACP, in conjunction with other physician groups, is seeking applicants who are interested in advocating at the state and local level for policies that support tobacco control, protect nonsmokers, and provide better access to tobacco cessation services. Training will be April 26 and 27 in Washington, DC. Applicants selected to participate will be provided airfare and hotel accommodations. Learn more at the link above.

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