The Opioid Crisis, Medicare Lab Payments for 2018, and the Executive Order on Contraception

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November 03, 2017

Welcome to the ACP Advocate,

Our first article today takes a look at the announcement we saw last week from President Trump, and his administration, declaring the opioid crisis in our country as a public health emergency.  The article discusses what that declaration means and examines the move in the context of the College's policy on substance use disorder treatment.

In the second article we let you know about a big change proposed for Medicare reimbursements for lab tests in the coming year.  ACP is advocating to keep this cut in payments from going into effect and we will keep you updated on what happens.

Finally, in our last article we look at an executive order that President Trump signed a few weeks ago.  The order, loosening the requirements for employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, is concerning because it will deny women access to affordable contraception and establishes a precedent for employers to opt out of other essential benefits, like vaccinations.

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.

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 Calls Trump's Action on Opioid Crisis a Good First Step

Ending the epidemic, however, requires further action and funding, College notes

President Trump's decision to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency has been met with tempered enthusiasm by the American College of Physicians.

"It is time to liberate our communiti... (read more)

» Physician Labs Face Cut in Reimbursement Rates for 2018

ACP is urging Medicare to delay implementation and use new data to adjust fees

Nov. 3, 2017 (ACP) -- Heeding the concerns of members about the loss of revenue and important opportunities to provide better care to patients, the American College of Physicians is urging federal officials t... (read more)

» Government's Ending of Mandated Contraceptive Coverage Draws Rebuke From ACP

College fears that similar moves to restrict health care access could follow

Nov. 3, 2017 (ACP) -- The American College of Physicians is sharply criticizing the White House for what it considers a strike at the heart of health care: eliminating mandated insurance coverage for contrace... (read more)

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
In this issue
» ACP Calls Trump's Action on Opioid Crisis a Good First Step
» Physician Labs Face Cut in Reimbursement Rates for 2018
» Government's Ending of Mandated Contraceptive Coverage Draws Rebuke From ACP

In focus
» ACA Enrollment Open Now!
With the shortened enrollment season this year, it’s more important than ever to do what you can to help patients who may need information about enrolling in ACA plans. ACP’s Enrollment Resources page has information about what patients need to do to sign up, including state-specific information and contacts. For more about what’s different for enrollment for this year, see our coverage in the ACP Advocate.
» Need help navigating QPP?
The final quarter for 2017 reporting for the MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) began on Oct. 1. ACP's free Quality Payment Advisor (QPA) tool can help you make sure your practice is on the right path.

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