The State of the Nation's Health Care; Plus, Progress on the SGR

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February 21, 2014
In this issue
» ACP Sees U.S. Health Care as a Work Still in Progress

» Medicare's SGR Formula Moves One Step Closer to Repeal

» Will the Affordable Care Act Really Decimate the U.S. Job Market?

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 open our issue today by letting you know about our annual State of the Nation's Health Care briefing that took place in Washington last week. In this year's address we looked at the "progress, challenges and opportunities" still facing us in our movement toward health care reform. Specifically, we called on the federal government to make improvements that would address concerns about the impact of unduly narrow provider networks and over restrictive drug formularies in qualified health plans. Please take a look at the article for more information about what we had to say. And, if you're interested in even more detailed coverage I encourage you to visit our State of the Nation's Health Care page where you can find complete coverage and an archived video of the event.

I am especially excited for you to read today's second story. We're bringing you an update on new joint, bipartisan legislation that was agreed to by the congressional committees with jurisdiction over Medicare. The new legislation would permanently repeal the broken Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and help transition to new payment models that recognize high quality care. We're hopeful that the legislation will be brought to a vote before the current SGR patch runs out at the end of March. Take a look at the article for more details about the bill.

Over the next month we'll be advocating intensely on this issue. If you're not already a part of our Advocates for Internal Medicine network I strongly encourage you to consider joining to help us communicate our message to Congress. You can find information about joining in the column to the right of this letter.

Finally, today's last story is about a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. The economic outlook reported, in part, on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the nation's workforce. The results have been widely reported, and in many cases misinterpreted, in the press. Read our article for more about the conclusions the report actually reached and what they mean for employment.

Until our next issue, 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 Sees U.S. Health Care as a Work Still in Progress
  Annual assessment urges continued efforts to address issues of network adequacy and continuity of care

Though the Affordable Care Act is allowing unprecedented access to medical insurance in the United States, more work is needed to realize the full potential of health care reform, the American College of Ph... » Click to read the full article

» Medicare's SGR Formula Moves One Step Closer to Repeal
  Congressional committees agree on bill to reform reimbursement system, eliciting hope from ACP officials

Agreement on a bill to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate payment system has been reached by key congressional committees, relieving physicians of the uncertainty and confusion surrounding reimbursements fo... » Click to read the full article

» Will the Affordable Care Act Really Decimate the U.S. Job Market?
  Congressional report reflects reality of choices, health law advocates say

A report from the Congressional Budget Office predicting that the Affordable Care Act would result in as many as 2.5 million people leaving the workforce set off a maelstrom of controversy about the health... » Click to read the full article

In focus
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