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

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Political analysis

Access | Elections | College advocacy | Fraud and abuse | Health care financing | Liability reform | Medicare reform | Medicare reimbursement | Member advocacy | Pay-for-performance | Patients' rights | Politics | Politics of health care | Revamping health care


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Access

Can states point the way to solving the access crisis?
To expand access, Congress may have to give states the money they need to support state reforms. (June 2006)

Politics and fee cuts: Is any real solution in sight?
Once again, we're considering the prospect of achieving only a temporary SGR fix, at best. (December 2005)

Can the 'medical home' model solve health care's woes?
The premise behind the medical home model is that care will be improved if patients have direct access to one physician. (November 2005)

Letters
Readers discuss in-office drug infusion, access fees and EMR software. (July-August 2004)

Senate bill based on ACP's plans to expand access
The legislation mirrors the College's call for all Americans to have health coverage by the end of the decade. (May 2003)

New College report shows access problems are growing
An overview of the College's new report that points out the magnitude of some of America's access problems (February 2003)

Achieving affordable health care for all in seven years
The College's plan would weave current sources of care into a fabric that covers everyone (May 2002)

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Elections

What can the audience expect from Congress' second act?

Congress' dysfunction has led to record-low approval ratings of 11%, and continued delays in resolving issues important to physicians, such as reimbursement and medical education. More

Candidates split on staying with employer health coverage
September ’08

The advantage of being a definitive presidential nominee while the other party continues to fight out the primary is that you get a head start on general election campaigning. The disadvantage, as Sen. John McCain's campaign learned at Internal Medicine 2008, is that the other party may double-team you. More

Democrats’ health plans not much help to undecided voters
June ’08

John McCain touts his plan for the U.S. health care system
May '08

White House hopefuls face a generation gap
April ’08

Presidential candidates tackle problem of health care costs
March ’08

Washington Perspective
Will the 2008 elections be the turning point for health care?
March ’08

Which White House hopefuls are listening to ACP’s options
February '08

Voters weigh in on mixed bag of state ballot measures
Californians approve stem cell research, but citizens in four states deliver no clear mandate on tort reform. (December 2004)

Election 2004: the new political realities for medicine
Voters have signaled their desire for small steps, not giant strides, on most of the nation's major health policy issues. (December 2004)

ACP members champion their presidential candidates
A gastroenterologist from Texas and a retired internist from Washington discuss why their man deserves to be in the White House. (October 2004)

Can we achieve reform in a presidential election year?
How ACP can move its agenda forward in a highly partisan election year. (March 2004)

What the confusing election results might mean for health care policy
This strange election may result in more gridlock than voters anticipated (December 2000)

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College advocacy

ACP’s Washington office reviews its own ‘seven days in May’

A recent week provides a great example of how ACP’s Washington office supports College advocacy. More

Haggling over health care reform is like a children's game

Health care reform has made progress with internists already seeing bonus reimbursement in their offices. But the Affordable Care Act is about to run smack into the Supreme Court, and what happens there could result in any range of outcomes. More

Mandated health care cuts don't equal health care reform

Automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2010 make it more likely that Congress will deadlock on thoughtful spending adjustments in favor of cuts to primary care education and training, or simply make across-the-board cuts to physician reimbursement, instead of looking at genuine ways to reduce health care spending. More

Influencing the details of health reform so internists get paid

ACP played a key role in enacting into law the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program, which improves reimbursement, and in making sure the provisions apply to as many doctors as possible. More

Washington Perspective
What will it take to restore the primacy of primary care?
May '08

Washington Perspective
ACP’s positions grown out of intensive development process
April ’08

How ACP pushed the envelope on payment reform
CMS' recent decision to increase payments for E/M services was the fruition of an intense long-term advocacy campaign by the College. (September 2006)

Physician-activists make a difference on Capitol Hill
How can we expect politicians to work toward the interests of the public when so many of us have tuned out of the political process? (July-August 2006)

Why the College voiced its concerns on prison abuse. (July-August 2004)

How to repair our 'dysfunctional' reimbursement system
Although more Medicare dollars have been shifted to cognitive services, internists' gains have been eroded by budget neutrality rules. (June 2004)

Why medicine must lead the way to electronic records
Policies creating a new information infrastructure are too important to leave to the government. (April 2004)

How the College develops its public policy agenda
ACP makes sure decision-making flows from the dues-paying members up to the leadership and staff (April 2003)

What have we done for you lately in Washington?
Updates on the progress of the College's advocacy efforts so far this year. (April 2002)

How we keep in touch on issues like errors and drug management
Talking to members alerts us to emerging issues and validates our efforts when we are on the right track (April 2000)

How ACP-ASIM plans to strengthen advocacy at state and chapter levels
ACP-ASIM's objective is to be an effective advocate for internists wherever decisions are made (June 1999)

The 'secret' world of advocacy: It's not Hollywood, but it works
Quiet persuasion by skilled lobbyists, backed up grassroots advocacy from members "back home," makes for a successful governmental affairs program (February 1999)

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Fraud and abuse

Engaging the federal government on Medicare's antifraud program
How the College worked with to represent internists in the OIG's efforts to find fraud and abuse (November 2000)

A look at the College's response to the IOM report on medical errors
The College supports mandatory reporting requirements, but not for "near misses" and system errors that don't seriously injure patients (March 2000)

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Health care financing

Spending on physician services, take two

Reform is required in how physicians are paid, including a more rigorous analysis of the relative value of services and compensation for the cognitive work done outside of the patient encounter. More

Positions on health care reform aren't all black and white

ACP's health care positions can't be neatly labeled as coming from one political perspective or another. A wide array of issues requires consideration. More

Does the United States pay its doctors and hospitals too much?

The United States won't control health care costs until it addresses the excessive prices it pays for some health care services. More

What can the audience expect from Congress' second act?

Congress' dysfunction has led to record-low approval ratings of 11%, and continued delays in resolving issues important to physicians, such as reimbursement and medical education. More

What should physicians contribute to deficit reduction?

ACP has proposed that Congress create a national, physician-led initiative to promote high-value care, promote research into comparative effectiveness, and reduce the needless expense of defensive medicine. More

Mandated health care cuts don't equal health care reform

Automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2010 make it more likely that Congress will deadlock on thoughtful spending adjustments in favor of cuts to primary care education and training, or simply make across-the-board cuts to physician reimbursement, instead of looking at genuine ways to reduce health care spending. More

Health care reform gets mixed reviews one year later

It’s been a little over one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama. How is it faring? It depends on whom you ask. More

Budget brinkmanship may yet impact health care reform

Political debate about tax cuts and other federal issues may spill over into health care reform, and how it is funded even as it rolls out. More

‘Rationing’ charge prevents real discourse on health care costs

Critics have unfairly attacked health care reform. But proponents haven’t been straightforward about its costs. The truth involves how resources get allocated. More

Influencing the details of health reform so internists get paid

ACP played a key role in enacting into law the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program, which improves reimbursement, and in making sure the provisions apply to as many doctors as possible. More

Would Congress cut funding for popular health care programs?

A serious bi-partisan discussion is needed to make serious decisions about health care reform. More

Monday morning quarterbacking doesn’t score touchdowns

The “failure” to permanently reform the sustainable growth rate formula shouldn’t jeopardize overall progress on health care reform. More

‘Reform’ hasn’t always equaled improvement of health care

ACP’s incoming president lays out his agenda for the upcoming year and how the patient-centered medical home improves the enjoyment found in practicing primary care internal medicine. More

Even with new legislation, health care reform would evolve

Every Congress has made its mark on Medicare since the program’s inception in 1965. Success or failure for health care reform isn’t the end of the journey, but another milestone. More

Political perils of cost control complicate health care reform

Even if health reform passes, the problem of rising costs will not go away. And politicians cannot confront the fundamental issue that Americans can’t have all the health care they want. More

Finding common ground when some gain and others lose

Proposals that redistribute money pose a special challenge to physician membership organizations. Physicians expect their societies to represent their interests, but what happens when one subset of members stands to benefit at another’s expense? ACP chooses a path that’s best for patients. More

Health care reform at the precipice: What happens next?

A snapshot of health care reform as Congress takes a mid-summer break. Multiple bills need to be reconciled, while members of Congress face increasing pressure from advertising and lobbying. More

Primary care gains ground but pay reform still up in the air

Politicians acknowledge needing more primary care physicians, but paying for it requires support from elected officials and from the College. More

Stimulus package part of down payment on health reform

Stimulus legislation enacted in the first two months of President Obama's administration show that the White House is serious about health care reform. More

What will it take to fix the broken reimbursement system?
Align physician reimbursement to compensate for the best possible patient care coordination. More

Washington Perspective
None of the presidential candidates are discussing health care cost containment, setting up reform as an issue doomed to fail after the election. More

Washington Perspective (January 2008)

Awaiting the next chapter of SCHIP, Medicare saga (November/December 2007)

'The score' matters more than winning on Capitol Hill (October 2007)

SCHIP debate gives preview to '08 presidential campaign. (September 2007)

Groups collaborate for meaningful health care reform (July-August 2007)

Is the Relative Value Update Committee still relevant?
ACP is examining how the process that determines relative values should be changed. (October 2005)

Growth in physician spending packs a political impact
A new CMS report shows that expenditures on physician services jumped 15% in one year. (May 2005)

The president—and the College—address U.S. health care
Of particular concern, President Bush's budget does not include money to halt scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. (March 2005)

Next year's big debate: the politics of cost containment
Next year may be remembered as the year that health care cost containment came roaring back as a major public policy issue. (November 2004)

Health care and the politics of vulnerability
Recent events mean that bioterrorism has supplanted the patient bill of rights, Medicare reform and patient safety as the top health issues (November 2001)

Washington's new agenda as the nation braces for war
After the terrorist attacks on America, expect health care legislation to take a back seat to other national priorities (October 2001)

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Liability reform

strong>Overcoming the obstacles to medical liability reform
While doctors may believe that tort reform is the right thing, lawyers often have the backing of the public. Here's why. (September 2002)

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Medicare reform

Mandated health care cuts don't equal health care reform

Automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2010 make it more likely that Congress will deadlock on thoughtful spending adjustments in favor of cuts to primary care education and training, or simply make across-the-board cuts to physician reimbursement, instead of looking at genuine ways to reduce health care spending. More

Influencing the details of health reform so internists get paid

ACP played a key role in enacting into law the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program, which improves reimbursement, and in making sure the provisions apply to as many doctors as possible. More

Changing health care from the ground up

Health care reform will play out in doctors’ offices, not in Washington, D.C. Patients and physicians will determine how costs change in the upcoming years. More

Health reform could improve the lives of patients, internists

Health reform legislation represents a historic shift in the federal government’s role in health care, but debate continues whether it will be good for America and for internal medicine. More

Affordable health care puts individuals, society at odds

The public would have more confidence in the cost-control measures that emerge from health care reform if physicians led the discussion. More

Trustees: Medicare’s future funding may be in jeopardy (June 2007)

Recasting the debate on Medicare physician payments
Congress is expected to halt the cuts, but doing so will not solve the longterm problem unless legislators fix the sustainable growth formula. (January-February 2006)

Here again: another round of looming Medicare cuts?
The flawed SGR may once again lead to cuts in physician payments. (April 2005)

The president—and the College—address U.S. health care
Of particular concern, President Bush's budget does not include money to halt scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. (March 2005)

Focusing the College's policy agenda on revitalization
Addressing the reasons why practicing physicians are unhappy with the current state of internal medicine practice. (September 2004)

Medicare exploring changes in pay for chronic care
Demonstration projects could help internists finally be paid for managing the care of complex patients. (May 2004)

Responding to concerns about new Medicare reforms
While many College members support new Medicare reform legislation, others express their concerns. (January-February 2004)

The new Medicare: not your grandmother's program
Medicare reform legislation signals a new era of market-based competition and income-based premiums. (December 2003)

E-prescribing: the next 'unfunded' mandate for doctors?
Why the College doesn't support legislation to force electronic prescribing technology on physicians. (September 2003)

Creative solutions to physicians' time and pay dilemmas
The College is committed to developing creative solutions to fairly compensate internists for the time they spend with patients. (June 2003)

Diagnosing—and curing—Medicare's maladies
Congress needs to strengthen Medicare's foundation by halting payment cuts, replacing the flawed formula for updating payments and reducing red tape (March 2002)

News about Medicare: a good-news, bad-news scenario
Legislation streamlining Medicare could reduce physician hassles, but a pay cut may be on the horizon (December 2001)

In an effort to cut Medicare's red tape, Congress is proposing tough new legislation
MERFA will help eliminate unnecessary paperwork by focusing on error prevention rather than intrusive audits (April 2001)

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Medicare Reimbursement

Will U.S. physicians swim or sink in changing health care waters?

Health care reform, pricing transparency and the movement away from fee-for-service payments mean the times are changing for American medicine. More

Mandated health care cuts don't equal health care reform

Automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2010 make it more likely that Congress will deadlock on thoughtful spending adjustments in favor of cuts to primary care education and training, or simply make across-the-board cuts to physician reimbursement, instead of looking at genuine ways to reduce health care spending. More

Even with new legislation, health care reform would evolve

Every Congress has made its mark on Medicare since the program’s inception in 1965. Success or failure for health care reform isn’t the end of the journey, but another milestone. More

Best patient care gets lost amid the health care delivery system

A primary care doctor measures the benefits that he can provide to his patients: continuity of care and a complete “story” to tell about each one. More

Even with new legislation, health care reform would evolve

Every Congress has made its mark on Medicare since the program’s inception in 1965. Success or failure for health care reform isn’t the end of the journey, but another milestone. More

ACP's advocacy for patient-centered care garners support, concern. (April 2007)

Federal Policies should support patient-centered care. (March 2007)

2007 Medicare payments: A step in the right direction. (January-February 2007)

Medicare payment reform effort faces threat from within
Changing the Medicare payment system will require redistributing dollars, which is sure to create controversy. (April 2006)

What makes medicine stronger: diversity or consensus?
Pay for performance is a complicated, controversial topic, and no one organization has it all figured out. (July-August 2005)

Politics calls for a compromise in tactics, not principles
Physicians need to help develop a value-based purchasing program that can improve quality. (June 2005)

How to repair our 'dysfunctional' reimbursement system
Although more Medicare dollars have been shifted to cognitive services, internists' gains have been eroded by budget neutrality rules. (June 2004)

Medicare win showcases the power of grassroots advocacy
Physicians will receive a 1.6% raise instead of a 4.4% cut. The College's efforts helped win the fight (March 2003)

Will Congress redeem its legacy of inexcusable inaction?
Congress' failure to reverse Medicare pay cuts was not a result of physicians' lack of effort to pressure legislators to act (December 2002)

Can Congress redeem its record of failure on health care?
Congress has little time to right a big wrong by reversing cuts in Medicare payments for physician services. (November 2002)

After 10 years, has RBRVS helped your bottom line?
While RBRVS has not increased internists' Medicare pay as much as hoped, spending on cognitive services has increased significantly. (January 2002)

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Member advocacy

Addressing dissatisfaction in internists’ day-to-day practice

As a direct result of ACP’s advocacy efforts, internists will see higher Medicare and Medicaid payments and relief from intrusive administrative requirements.

More

Politics calls for a compromise in tactics, not principles
Physicians need to help develop a value-based purchasing program that can improve quality. (June 2005)

Medicare win showcases the power of grassroots advocacy
Physicians will receive a 1.6% raise instead of a 4.4% cut. The College's efforts helped win the fight (March 2003)

Will Congress redeem its legacy of inexcusable inaction?
Congress' failure to reverse Medicare pay cuts was not a result of physicians' lack of effort to pressure legislators to act (December 2002)

Why participating in politics is the right thing to do
Get involved and make Washington work for you (October 2002)

Getting through to legislators: a slow but worthwhile process
A personal letter from an internist can have more impact than 50 form letters or 1,000 postcards (November 1999)

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Pay-for-performance

When will the lights go out on fee-for-service?

Reimbursement for medical care should be based on value, not on procedures. A long-term solution must include pilot programs of new approaches and stabilized reimbursement during their rollouts. More

Change fee for service to another method that reflects quality

Fee-for-service payments need to align incentives with value of services rendered. More

Is P4P the next great idea or a passing fad? (May 2007)

Pay for performance: moving from concept to legislation
Two recently introduced bills advocate different approaches to pay for performance and physician updates. (September 2005)

What makes medicine stronger: diversity or consensus?
Pay for performance is a complicated, controversial topic, and no one organization has it all figured out. (July-August 2005)

The brave new world of pay-for-performance programs
Are physicians ready for pay-for-performance? (January-February 2005)

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Patients' rights

The Campaign Trail
The presidential candidates are steering away from the abortion issue, but a ballot issue in South Dakota keeps the issue alive in voter’s minds. More

Navigating the policy and substance of patient protection legislation
To make progress, all parties in the patient protection debate must work together to resolve remaining disagreements. (June 2001)

What price will medicine have to pay to protect patients' right to privacy?
Writing a law to protect medical record confidentiality has proven to be a daunting task (March 2001)

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Politics

Super fail: Congress sets new low for ineffectiveness

An attempt at political compromise failed, even when the consequences were so severe as to guarantee some type of success. The pressure will only increase in an election year, with threats to physician payments, potential cuts to critical health programs and services, and no end in sight for a solution. More

‘Rationing’ charge prevents real discourse on health care costs

Critics have unfairly attacked health care reform. But proponents haven’t been straightforward about its costs. The truth involves how resources get allocated. More

History will judge outgoing Congress’ impact on health reform

Not since Congress passed Medicare and Medicaid has there been such an impact on health care as happened by the close of 2010. More

Influencing the details of health reform so internists get paid

ACP played a key role in enacting into law the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program, which improves reimbursement, and in making sure the provisions apply to as many doctors as possible. More

Health care reform, PCMHs forge a new path for primary care

A new focus by health care reform advocates on the patient-centered medical home will forge a path toward financing and delivering primary care. More

Washington Perspective
February '08

How will the Democrat's resurgence affect Congress? (December 2006)

Waiting for Congress to act: Is it déjà vu all over again? (November 2006)

Primary care finally getting policymakers’ attention. (October 2006)

Politics calls for a compromise in tactics, not principles
Physicians need to help develop a value-based purchasing program that can improve quality. (June 2005)

The president—and the College—address U.S. health care
Of particular concern, President Bush's budget does not include money to halt scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. (March 2005)

What role will health care play in the 2004 elections?
A look at the highly unsettled state of the electorate as the nation heads toward the presidential primaries. (October 2003)

What can internists expect from the 108th Congress?
Republicans now control both houses, but can they overcome gridlock that prevented progress last year? (January 2003)

What history can teach us about medical politics today
Many issues debated today echo the controversies and conflicts of the past. (July-August 2002)

How Medicare legislation is made in the real world
In the real world, lawmakers must decide whether to accept a compromise or risk everything by holding out for better legislation. (June 2002)

What a difference a year makes in health care policy
A look at how the surprising past year has affected progress on the College's top policy concerns (February 2002)

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Politics of health care

States eye health care reform if federal law is overturned

The Supreme Court is ruling on the constitutionality of health care reform, leaving states in the position of having to plan for any eventuality. Letting the states take the lead in health care reform remains a viable option. More

What is the state of American health care in this election year?

ACP's annual report on the state of health care cites proposed budget cuts as the biggest threat to recent advances made by health care reform. And more advances could be affected by the outcome of the presidential elections. More

Mandated health care cuts don't equal health care reform

Automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2010 make it more likely that Congress will deadlock on thoughtful spending adjustments in favor of cuts to primary care education and training, or simply make across-the-board cuts to physician reimbursement, instead of looking at genuine ways to reduce health care spending. More

Is this the end of Medicare and Medicaid as we know them?

Politicians have markedly disparate visions for the government’s role in health care. The outcomes of the 2012 elections will have an impact on what eventually happens. More

Budget brinkmanship may yet impact health care reform

Political debate about tax cuts and other federal issues may spill over into health care reform, and how it is funded even as it rolls out. More

Medicare could stay solvent if stakeholders act soon

Congress faces unpopular options as they consider how to keep Medicare solvent through this decade and the next. More

What do Obama's first weeks tell us about health care reform?

Searching the first 100 days of President Barack Obama's administration for clues about health care reform. More

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Revamping health care

How today's health care teams can play to win

Chronic, complex diseases require a team approach. The size of these teams is growing, as are the types of people involved in them. Internists must be key players to provide high-value, cost-conscious care. More

Is this the end of Medicare and Medicaid as we know them?

Politicians have markedly disparate visions for the government’s role in health care. The outcomes of the 2012 elections will have an impact on what eventually happens. More

Budget brinkmanship may yet impact health care reform

Political debate about tax cuts and other federal issues may spill over into health care reform, and how it is funded even as it rolls out. More

Changing health care from the ground up

Health care reform will play out in doctors’ offices, not in Washington, D.C. Patients and physicians will determine how costs change in the upcoming years. More

The promise and challenge of health care 'transparency'
Any transparency model we adopt must be specific to our industry, and not borrowed from another industry. (May 2006)

Building on 'big idea' momentum in a breakthrough year
Will 2006 be a breakthrough year in fixing what is wrong with American health care? (March 2006)

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