January 24, 2008 17:22
I had breakfast this week with House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York. Chairman Rangel will play a key role in any Medicare Reform package. Charlie is very uneasy about the presidential candidates’ pontifications about reform without consulting Congress, which will have to approve anything forthcoming. He notes, quality and access notwithstanding, the current debates and policy discussions are all really about cost increases. He wants to know if we’re legitimately interested in this problem. This 40+ year member of Congress is sincerely interested in hearing what we think needs to happen to reform the system in a socially responsible way. This is refreshing. Let’s not let him down.
January 22, 2008 18:00
In the January issue of Cardiology magazine, we ask you "what makes a quality cardiologist." Your comments on the following questions will help guide the ACC as it attempts to answer this question.
- As a cardiovascular professional, what items would you choose to publish on a ‘report card’ to demonstrate your excellence to a prospective patient?
- Now, you need a cardiologist and CANNOT consult a medical colleague. What information would be valuable to help you choose? Please be very specific and inclusive.
January 18, 2008 17:21
This election really is about change (but can we drop this word, please?). Even the voters change their tune from week to week! I think this month’s most interesting development — beyond of course the results of the New Hampshire primary — was Barack Obama’s admission when pressed that he ultimately endorses a single payer system. It’ll be interesting to see more details of each candidate’s health care plan as the race gets tighter. In the meantime, the ACC will continue to serve as a key advisor to all of the candidates on patient-centered health system reform. If we define our accountability in system reform carefully, when a new administration takes over in ’09, we will be at the table, not on the menu.
January 11, 2008 17:17
This Sunday’s New York Times reported on “The Falling-Down Professions,” documenting plummeting morale among physicians (and lawyers as well). The reasons for doctors, according to the Times, range from outrageous demands of our current delivery system, to skeptical patients accessing bad science on the Internet, to a new generation that values creativity and entrepreneurialism above science and stability. The problem is striking close to home for those of us in the D.C. area. Tuesday’s Washington Post reported that Maryland faces a severe shortage of doctors by 2015.
The problem is real. And it’s critical. But, that’s where the ACC comes in. Quality First is helping to put the focus back where physicians know it should be: on quality patient care. And our workforce initiatives are looking at new ways to drive students to medicine and to cardiology in particular.
The ACC is on the job — we want to keep all of you on the job, too.
January 9, 2008 14:32
Everybody is a “changemaster” in this presidential race, including the voters! The Iowa and New Hampshire primaries reveal only that both party nominations are still up for grabs.
What does that mean for the ACC? More time and leverage to influence health system reform. Most of the candidates support universal access to quality care. But the details are lacking in their plans. Leading up to the conventions, the ACC needs to help fill in some of those details for all the candidates. A Blue Ribbon Panel appointed by ACC President Jim Dove is already thinking both about system reform principles and CV-related details we'd support. Stay tuned. And be ready to change!
January 4, 2008 14:28
ACC and its partners have won another victory for our members on the payment front! CMS issued a final rule on Dec. 28 delaying the anti-markup provisions in §414.50. The rule delays until Jan. 1, 2009 the applicability of the anti markup provisions except with respect to the technical component of a purchased diagnostic test and with respect to any anatomic pathology diagnostic testing services furnished in space that: is utilized by a physician group practice as a "centralized building" for purposes of complying with the physician self-referral rules; and does not qualify as a "same building." Our advocacy team will continue to monitor this and provide detailed analysis of the rule.