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


College briefs

From the December ACP Observer, copyright © 2005 by the American College of Physicians.

ACP revises procedures for ethical complaints

The College has revised its procedures for addressing ethical complaints against ACP members. Those procedures apply to the entire College membership, including international members.

The procedures are implemented when ACP receives a formal complaint from a member physician, non-member physician or layperson regarding unprofessional, unethical or illegal conduct on the part of an ACP member, or when information requiring review is otherwise brought to the College's attention.

Ethical complaints against College members should be submitted to ACP's Executive Vice President or ACP's Center for Ethics and Professionalism. Formal complaints must be in writing and signed by the complainant, and must describe the particular act or conduct in question. Complaints will be forwarded to ACP's President and the relevant chapter Governor.

Recent changes to the procedures address reviewer conflicts of interest, clarify possible sanctions and extend deadlines for international cases. The revised procedures are effective immediately and are online. For a printed copy of the procedures, contact Laura Gregory at 800-523-1546, ext. 2839.

ACP to launch new practice innovation center

The College has recently received a two-year grant worth nearly $1 million to create a center for practice innovation. The center will help small and midsize internal medicine practices achieve enhanced quality performance.

Slated to open Jan. 1, the Center for Practice Innovation (CPI) will support a patient-centered, physician-guided model of care targeting practice support. The CPI plan calls for selecting between 25 and 50 representative medical offices across the country in different settings to test CPI resources and recommended practice innovations, said Michael S. Barr, FACP, the College's Vice President for Practice Advocacy and Improvement.

Those offices will receive tools, educational workshops and ongoing consultation from experts in small-practice economics, health information technology and quality improvement. The program will allow ACP to learn how best to support small and midsize internal medicine practices in making the transition to new models of care delivery that will result in better quality, value and reimbursement.

Program results will then be made available to internists nationwide at no cost. The CPI, which Dr. Barr will direct, will be staffed with ACP employees and at least one outside consultant.

The application and selection processes for CPI participants are still being determined. The College's $996,000 grant was part of $16 million awarded by the Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence, a Florida-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting high quality health care.

More information is online.

New HEALTH TiPS helps patients with Medicare Part D

The ACP Foundation has added a Medicare Part D HEALTH TiPS to its patient education series, with important information physicians can give their patients.

HEALTH TiPS provides just enough important information—geared to a fifth-grade reading level—for patients to begin to take action on choosing a Part D plan. The Medicare Part D HEALTH TiPS gives details of the two basic plans Medicare will offer, sources of additional information and help in choosing a plan, and important dates for enrollment.

Copies of the Medicare Part D HEALTH TiPS are available on the Foundation Web site.

The Foundation also offers free HEALTH TiPS on pain, hypertension and healthy shelter living.

College-supported organization offers volunteer opportunities overseas

Physicians who want to volunteer overseas should consider Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), an ACP-supported organization committed to improving global health. HVO works to improve global health by mentoring health care providers in less developed nations. ACP sponsors HVO's internal medicine overseas section, which supports training programs for internal medicine generalists and subspecialists in Cambodia, India, Peru, Tanzania and Uganda.

HVO currently supports over 60 projects in more than 25 countries. Volunteers lecture, conduct ward rounds and demonstrate various techniques in classrooms, clinics and operating rooms.

To learn more about improving global health, visit the HVO Web site.

Discounts now available on Annual Session 2005 recordings

Physicians can now buy the 25 best-selling recorded sessions from Annual Session 2005 at 25% off their original price.

For a limited time only, physicians can order recordings in audiocassette, audio CD and MP3 CD formats at the discounted price. Individual recordings are now $12.75, down from $17. You can also buy the entire package of 25 recordings for $195, down from the previous combined price of $318.75.

Some of the popular sessions being offered cover diabetes outpatient management, drug interactions, hyperlipidemia, preoperative care and anticoagulation therapy. Recordings include several Updates and Clinical Pearl and Meet the Professor sessions.

More information is online or call 800-241-7785.

New free toolkit available to help fight meningitis

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has launched an online in-practice resource program with free materials to help physicians and practices implement new meningococcal vaccine recommendations.

The program now offers a toolkit that ACP helped develop, with information on the disease as well as new recommendations and tips for vaccine delivery, proper billing and reimbursement. The toolkit also contains sample patient education materials.

Called "S.T.O.P Meningitis!," the toolkit targets adolescents and college-bound students who make up nearly 30% of the 3,000 meningitis cases diagnosed in the United States each year. According to the National Meningitis Association, vaccination could prevent up to 80% of these cases.

Medical organizations as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that patients age 11-12 receive new conjugate vaccine. For those not previously immunized, guidelines recommend vaccination when students enter high school or college. Toolkit materials can be downloaded from the NFID Web site.


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