Latest updates on ACP's priorities, initiatives

ACP Spotlight offers readers a look at ACP's current top priorities and initiatives, as well as highlights from our e-newsletter, ACP Internist Weekly.

Watch ACP's Town Hall webinar online

In conjunction with the release of the 2018-2019 Annual Report of the EVP/CEO ACP held a Town Hall webinar on July 24. The webinar includes information about key ACP activities and a Q&A with College leadership.

ACP supports proposed changes in Medicare payments

The provisions were included in the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for 2020 released by CMS on July 29. Improvements include the following:

  • increased payments for evaluation and management (E/M) services,
  • retained separate payment levels for E/M codes,
  • improved documentation for E/M services,
  • improved accuracy in tracking time spent,
  • payment for managing opioid use disorder, and
  • additional add-on codes.

ACP has long been seeking these changes and was a leader, along with several other health care societies, in the push to improve payments for these historically undervalued services. Proposed changes to the 2020 Quality Payment Program should also reduce clinician burden, including ongoing efforts to remove low-value measures; provisions related to vendor accountability; and the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System's (MIPS) Value Pathway. .

ACP agrees with call to action on tobacco use in the U.S. military

Image by solidcolours
Image by solidcolours

ACP agrees with a July 8 call to action by the surgeons general of the Air Force, Army, Navy, and United States to address the health consequences of tobacco use in the military, including reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and electronic cigarette aerosol, setting leadership examples, and promoting tobacco cessation programs. ACP will continue to work and serve as a resource for policymakers and military leaders in helping to communicate the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Call for spring 2020 Board of Governors resolutions

Initiating a resolution provides ACP members an opportunity to focus attention at the ACP national level on particular issues or topics that concern them. When drafting a resolution, members should consider how it fits within ACP's Mission and Goals and use the College's 2018-2020 Priority Themes as a guide.

Members must submit resolutions to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it. The deadline for submitting new resolutions to be heard at the spring 2020 Board of Governors Meeting is Oct. 10, 2019.

Toolkit offers resources for patient-centered end-of-life care

Toolkit on Issues in Delivering Patient-Centered End-of-Life Care and Responding to a Request for Physician-Assisted Suicide” was developed for ACP members and includes links to information on advance care planning, team-based care at the end of life, self-care when providing end-of-life care, and responding to a patient request for physician-assisted suicide. The toolkit is exclusive to ACP members and requires a login for access.

ICYMI: Highlights from ACP Internist Weekly

Nonprescription antibiotic use may be prevalent in the U.S. population. In a scoping review of 31 articles published from 2000 to 2019, nonprescription antibiotic use varied from 1% to 66%. People reported obtaining antibiotics without a prescription from various sources, such as previously prescribed courses, local markets or stores, and family or friends. Reported factors contributing to nonprescription antibiotic use were easy access through markets or stores that obtain antibiotics internationally for under-the-counter sales, difficulty accessing the health care system, costs of physician visits, long waiting times in clinics, and transportation challenges. The study was published July 23 by Annals of Internal Medicine.

New guide offers recommendations on caring for transgender patients. “Care of the Transgender Patient,” which was funded by ACP, is based on a review of current evidence and covers common terminology and initial evaluation, medical management, transgender-specific surgical options, medicolegal and societal issues, and practice improvement. It was published July 2 by Annals of Internal Medicine.

ACP Internist Weekly is an e-newsletter published every Tuesday. Subscribe online.