2009: Changes that affect you

The ACP Advocate
December 19, 2008
In this issue
» PQRI: What to Expect in 2009

» Will Medicare Bonus Jump-Start Electronic Prescribing?

» Daschle's Initial Health-Care Reform Philosophy: Listen

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, go to www.acponline.org/advocacy

Happy Holidays from The ACP Advocate.

As we've noted in every issue of The ACP Advocate, 2009 is going to feature an abundance of opportunities to reform health care.  And, in this issue we look at one of the people who may be influential in doing just that.  Senator Tom Daschle has been announced as President-elect Obama’s choice for the secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sen. Daschle already has discussed some of his priorities in health care reform.  And, ACP has already communicated with him about the pressing need to reverse the shortage of primary care physicians.  In a letter requested by President-elect Obama's transition team, and sent this week, ACP President Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, FACP, urged Sen. Daschle to include funding in the new President's stimulus plan for a 10% increase in Medicare payments to internists and other physicians providing primary care. He also recommended incentives to help physicians in smaller practices acquire health information systems to become patient-centered medical homes.

In this issue, we also look at programs that may enable you to increase your reimbursement in 2009.  The Physicians’ Quality Reporting Initiative and the Medicare e-Prescribing incentive program both offer you the opportunity to earn a bonus by reporting additional information to CMS.

On behalf of the ACP leadership, membership and staff, I wish you all happy holidays and an abundant New Year.

Check out my Advocacy blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty .  I hope you’ll join me in examining the most provocative, ground-breaking and intriguing health policy discussions I come across in my daily work.

Please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to: TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

Happy Holidays,

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

In the news
» PQRI: What to Expect in 2009
  Lag time between reporting and feedback frustrates physicians

HealthDay News -- The U.S. government's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is upping the ante for doctors who participate in Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative in 2009 by adding 52 new quality measures and boosting bonus payments a half percentage point to 2 percent.

But will it be enough to woo doctors to a program they've found cumbersome?

"I think w... » Click to read the full article

» Will Medicare Bonus Jump-Start Electronic Prescribing?
  Capital costs, workflow changes may impede adoption

HealthDay News -- Wresting old-fashioned prescription pads from the hands of the nation's prescribers remains a formidable challenge, but U.S. Medicare officials are hoping a new program provides the incentive -- literally -- to get more clinicians to give electronic prescribing a whirl.

In a final rule describing the initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it believes th... » Click to read the full article

» Daschle's Initial Health-Care Reform Philosophy: Listen
  Advocates praise his political savvy and knowledge of the issue

HealthDay News -- There's little doubt where former Sen. Tom Daschle, Barack Obama's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, is going to concentrate his energies after he's confirmed by the U.S. Senate: His second title -- director of the White House Office of Health Reform -- points to his highest priority.

After being introduced by Obama as Health and Human Services Secretary-design... » Click to read the full article

In focus
How to Participate in the Medicare e-Rx Incentive Program
The College's Center for Practice Improvement and Innovation has put together a website with all of the tools and resources you'll need to help you get started with the 2009 Medicare e-prescribing incentive program. Here you will find an overview of the program and advice on choosing an e-prescribing system. Also, you will find detailed instructions and examples of how to report the e-prescribing incentive program measure that must be included on your Medicare claims forms.

Want to learn more about PQRI?
In 2009, CMS will be increasing the bonus payment for participation in PQRI to 2%. Visit ACP’s PQRI Resource page to find out how you can participate. On the website you will find tools and resources to help you learn more about the program and how to ensure your practice is successful in its participation. In addition, there is an area for you to communicate with ACP staff regarding questions and comments about your PQRI experience.

Sign up to lead a health care discussion over the holidays
Health care is a top priority for President-elect Obama and for Senator Tom Daschle, Secretary-designate for HHS. They both are committed to health care reform that comes from the ground up -- that's why this holiday season, we're asking you to give us the gift of your ideas and input. Sign up to lead a Health Care Community Discussion in your home, community center, or even a local coffee shop, anytime until Dec. 31. We'll provide you with a special Moderator's Guide that will give you everything you need to get the discussion going.

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