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

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From the April ACP Observer, copyright © 2007 by the American College of Physicians.

Renew Your ACP Membership

Renew your ACP membership early and choose the most convenient method for you. Watch for a mid-April e-mail inviting you to renew your membership for the next fiscal year. It's easy to renew using ACP's secure Web site or by phone, and it saves you time writing a check and mailing an envelope.

The e-mail will direct you to pay online via a "Pay Your Dues Link" on ACP's secure, encrypted Web site. If you'd rather pay by phone, call ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600 or 215-351-2600 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST).

Anyone who pays online or by phone before April 30 will not receive a print bill. If we have not received your membership renewal payment by April 30, we'll send you a printed renewal form around the middle of May.

Your membership keeps you up to date on the latest medical information, offers you substantial discounts on numerous educational tools and activities, and supports ACP's public policy efforts to improve the health care environment for you and your patients. Details about ACP activities and programs are available on ACP Online.

ACP releases new care guide

The College, in partnership with three other major medical groups, last week released Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PC-MH). The set of seven principles describes the characteristics of a practice-based care model for providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth and adults in a health care setting.

The PC-MH facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians and when appropriate the patient's family. Under a PC-MH each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician, who ensures that their medical practice collectively takes responsibility for their ongoing care.

The personal physician is responsible for taking a whole-person approach that includes care for all stages of life; acute care; chronic care; preventive services; and end of life care. Care is coordinated and integrated across all elements of the complex health care system.

ACP President Lynne M. Kirk, FACP emphasized that it is important to adequately support the time and systems required to assure that all patients can receive the high-quality health care that is delivered in a patient-centered medical home.

Joining with the College in the initiative were the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association. Together, the four groups represent 333,000 pediatricians, family physicians, internists and osteopathic physicians who provide the vast majority of primary care services to children, adolescents, and adult patients in the U.S.

The full set of principles can be found here and a release here.

MedPAC calls for SGR repeal

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) concluded that the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which is used to calculate annual updates in physician payments, is flawed and should be repealed by Congress, in a report released March 1.

The Congressionally mandated effort gives "an excellent, thorough, balanced and well-documented report on a very complex and critical issue," said ACP President Lynne M. Kirk, FACP, in a letter to key Congressional health care committee members. However, Dr. Kirk also expressed concern about several options discussed in the report that would replace the SGR with alternative spending targets that would introduce new administrative and political complexities without fixing the flaws inherent in the SGR.

The SGR formula, created in 1997, ties Medicare physician payments to growth in the overall economy. When growth in physician expenditures exceeds growth in the economy, the difference is subtracted from physician payments, resulting in across-the-board cuts in payments to physicians.

The full text of Dr. Kirk's letter can be found online.

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