Medicare: Payments and New Requirements for 2014

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December 20, 2013
In this issue
» Congress Averts Big New Year's Cut in Medicare Payments

» New Medicare Fee Schedule Adds Payments for Chronic Care Management

» Physicians Urged to Step Up and Help Stem the Tide of Prescription Drug Abuse

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

So, here we are at our last issue for 2013 and we're still covering the big story we've been looking at all year (well, really for the past decade). Today's first story updates you on the status of legislation in Congress to fix the Medicare payment problems caused by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. I am relieved to tell you that Congress has passed a short-term patch to give a 0.5 percent increase to payments through March while they again work to finalize legislation that would bring us a permanent solution. I remain optimistic that we have the momentum for a long-term fix this time, but check out the article for more details on what's been happening.

Today's second story is an update for you on the new fee schedule that will be taking effect on Jan. 1. You may remember that the release of the final fee schedule was delayed because of the governement shutdown in October. The new fee schedule, which was released on Nov. 27, finalizes rules for the chronic care management codes. It also contains new quality reporting requirements that physicians will need to comply with in order to avoid payment penalties. Take a look at the story for more information.

Finally, our last story today is about a new ACP policy paper that was published last week in Annals. Prescription Drug Abuse details what the College feels must be done to address the significant human and financial costs caused by this problem. If you've not already seen the article, I encourage you to take a look for more about our recommendations.

We'll see you again on Jan. 10. Until our next issue, for more coverage of what's hpanning 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
» Congress Averts Big New Year's Cut in Medicare Payments
  ACP executive cautiously optimistic that SGR repeal is in sight

Bipartisan momentum continues to build in Congress toward passing a permanent repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, according to the American College of Physicians.

Key committees in bot... » Click to read the full article

» New Medicare Fee Schedule Adds Payments for Chronic Care Management
  Other changes include revised requirements and incentives in programs related to quality and value

Medicare's plans to pay physicians for managing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease have come to fruition in the new fee schedule recently released by the agency.

The fee schedule a... » Click to read the full article

» Physicians Urged to Step Up and Help Stem the Tide of Prescription Drug Abuse
  New ACP position paper calls for renewed effort to balance patient needs with cautious dispensing of powerful drugs

The American College of Physicians has called for physicians to do their part in stemming what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized as an epidemic of deaths from prescriptio... » Click to read the full article

In focus
The ACA on Jan. 1
With the bulk of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions set to go into effect on Jan. 1, ACP has updated our resources on ACA enrollment. We encourage you to visit our page for more information about resources that can help your patients enroll in the health insurance exchanges. We also have a new resource “Affordable Care Act Issues Physicians Need to Know” which can help guide you in speaking with patients about their concerns on things like network issues, deductibles and prescription drug coverage.

Become an Advocate for Internal Medicine
Join ACP’s Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn). You’ll find updates about the latest legislation affecting internists and be able to help contribute to ACP’s continued success on Capitol Hill. In addition, the program will provide you with legislative alerts designed to help you easily email or call your members of Congress to let them hear about the issues important to you and other internal medicine physicians.

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