American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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Policy briefs

From the October 1998 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright 1998 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Choose ACP-ASIM to represent you at AMA

ACP-ASIM is asking members who also belong to the AMA to choose the College as their representative society.

Each fall, new AMA members are asked to select a specialty society they want to represent them in the organization's House of Delegates. While the balloting is primarily for new members, anyone may choose a new society to represent them.

For every 2,000 AMA members who designate ACP-ASIM as their representative specialty society, the College will gain one vote in the House of Delegates. (Currently, ACP-ASIM has five votes.) Ballots are due by Dec. 31.

You may cast your ballot for ACP-ASIM several different ways. Either call 800-652-0605, follow the instructions and vote for 312, the College's identification number or return the ballot that will appear in an upcoming issue of American Medical News by fax or regular mail (see instructions on the ballot). In addition, you can send an e-mail to ballot@ama-assn.org or send a fax to 847-517-7229. (Be sure to include your name, membership number and 312, ACP-ASIM's identification number.)

NCQA releases new standards

This summer, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) released new accreditation standards for managed care organizations. Initially, the new standards are scheduled to take effect in the year 2000.

The new performance-based standards evaluate plans on access, service, qualifications of physicians, use of preventive care, and the treatment of illnesses and management of chronic conditions.

The new standards will:

  • prohibit health plans from using financial incentives to limit or deny care;
  • require plans to have a process for approving exceptions to drug formularies;
  • evaluate whether plans unreasonably limit access to behavioral health care;
  • require plans to coordinate medical and behavioral care; and
  • require plans to take extra steps to protect confidentiality of medical records.

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