While you are at the 2011 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting learning about the latest advancements in rheumatologic care, stop by the Advocacy kiosk at the ACR Resource Center to discuss the latest developments in health policy. Currently, medicine is on the verge of great change with Congress discussing everything from physician payment reform to cuts to biomedical research and medical liability reform. The ACR advocates on behalf of the rheumatology profession and our patients and is actively pursuing the following issues:
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Explore This IssueOctober 2011
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> Preserving Patient Access to Rheumatology Care: The Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for the creation of a Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to identify $1.2 trillion in savings, which may include entitlement reform and tax increases as well as spending cuts. The ACR is working with the American Medical Association, national physician organizations, and members of the Joint Committee to find solutions that avoid cutting payments to Medicare providers and include permanent reform of the Medicare physician payment system.
Congratulations to our 2010 RheumPAC Raffle Winners!
Bob Lloyd, MD, of Chevy Chase, Md. (left), and Jennifer May, MD, of Rapid City, S.D.
- Recognizing the Value of Cognitive Specialties: ACR and ARHP members attend hundreds of Hill visits each year, educating Congress on the role cognitive specialists play in care coordination and cost savings through improved patient outcomes. As Congress discusses reforming the current physician payment system, the ACR is working to ensure that the additional training and expertise of cognitive specialists is valued through appropriate reimbursement.
- Research Funding: The budget debate has put research funding in jeopardy several times this year. The ACR has continued to advocate for maintaining funding levels for programs engaged in research to combat arthritis and related rheumatic diseases.
- Repeal of the IPAB: Creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was included in the Affordable Care Act. The IPAB would place important Medicare payment policy decisions in the hands of a panel that has far too little accountability. The ACR is actively working to repeal the IPAB.
- Access to Osteoporosis Testing: Chronic reductions in Medicare reimbursements have reduced patient access to preventative osteoporosis testing. The Preservation of Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Medicare Beneficiaries Act would extend payment for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans at the current reimbursement rate through 2013. The current payment increase is set to expire at the end of 2011. The ACR supports this legislation and is pursuing its passage.
Stop by the Advocacy kiosk at the ACR Resource Center to learn more about these issues and how you can get involved in advancing the message of rheumatology. While you are there, enter the third annual RheumPAC raffle to win complimentary registration or housing for the 2012 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.—and learn how RheumPAC is working for you in Washington, D.C.!