Revamping the E/M codes to capture complexity density could ultimately lead to a much-needed expansion of the rheumatology workforce, he believes.
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Actions for ACR Members
The ACR maintains a robust presence with stakeholders on the Hill and is active with a number of coalitions. One of these is the Cognitive Care Alliance, founded by the Society of General Internal Medicine headed by John D. Goodson, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Both Drs. Edgerton and Laing urge ACR members to stay engaged in policy issues. Acquainting oneself with local congressional members is one route, and the ACR, through its Legislative Action Center and the Affiliate Society Council, offers a wealth of information and talking points to become more effective in practice issue advocacy. You can send a pre-written email to Congress right now using ACR’s Legislative Action Center, asking your elected officials to support E/M services.
It’s also important for ACR members to keep their AMA membership current. Participation in the AMA’s RUC and CPT committees is contingent upon maintaining a critical number of rheumatologists with AMA membership.
“The hood is now open on the car,” says Dr. Edgerton. “It’s difficult to change the system when there [isn’t] a reason to do so, but now we have an opportunity to make our voices heard.”
Gretchen Henkel is an award-winning health and medical journalist based in California.
1. Hsiao WC, Braun P, Yntema D, et al. Estimating physicians’ work for a resource-based relative-value scale. N Engl J Med. 1988 Sep 29;319(13):835–841.