The ACR Government Affairs Committee and ARHP Advocacy Subcommittee met in Washington, DC, on September 26 to discuss current legislative priorities and to participate in their annual legislative reception on Capitol Hill. Committee members and staff exchanged ideas on ways to increase advocacy and political involvement from ACR/ ARHP members. Increasing advocacy is a primary focus for the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) and Advocacy Subcommittee because it is essential that Congress be aware of the magnitude of our concerns.
From the College
An REF Success Story
This is the only review course specifically designed to meet the needs of rheumatologists preparing for the ABIM Rheumatology Recertification Exam, so if you need to recertify before 2010 you should not miss this course.
Patient and staff education is the key to effectively handling emergencies and flares in rheumatic disease,” says Gail McIlvain-Simpson, MSN, RN, CS, an advanced practice nurse at Al DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.
The ACR is continually updating and increasing its collection of patient education materials, or fact sheets. One of the newest fact sheets, “Pregnancy and Rheumatic Disease,” discusses the complex interactions of pregnancy and rheumatic diseases, acceptable medications to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding and helps to define what constitutes a high-risk pregnancy. The fact sheet offers links to additional resources and educational materials.
Several insurance companies have tried to share quality information with enrollees by developing “star” systems to rank physicians. While star rankings may be a good way to pick a movie or restaurant, the ACR feels this system may be too simple to serve as a tool for identifying quality healthcare. Consumers need quality information, and need to know the true costs of medical services so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare. This idea is reflected in an executive order President Bush signed in August 2006 requiring government agencies to work with the private sector to gather and share data on the quality and cost of healthcare.
November’s Coding Answer
A former ARHP president reminisces about her roadtrip in the organization
Want to learn more about total hip arthroplasty? Register for the January 17 ARHP Rheumatology Audioconference, Minimally Invasive and Percutaneous Total Hip Arthroplasties, where Alberto Bolanos, MD, will describe the latest advances in these procedures.
The ACR has several opportunities for rheumatologists who must recertify through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).