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February 2012

Jim A. Yturri, MD, FACP, Governor
Carrie Reisig, Executive Director

From the Chapter

We hope your winter is going well! Many of you joined us at the recent Big Sky meeting. Special thanks go to Brett Kronenberger, MD, FACP and Sandra McIntyre, MD, FACP for all the work they did to make the 2012 ACP Montana Big Sky Meeting a great success. We hope to see many of you in New Orleans for Internal Medicine 2012!


Nurses, physician assistants, and others now can join ACP as Affiliate members

ACP has expanded its domestic Affiliate membership category to include a variety of allied health professionals, such as physician assistants; nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses; registered nurses; pharmacists and doctors of pharmacy; and clinical psychologists.

The College has long been supportive of patient-centered care delivered in a team-based environment. Allied health professionals that work with internal medicine physicians can benefit from the College’s resources and increased collaboration with ACP’s physician members.

ACP Non-Physician Affiliate members have online access to a variety of benefits, including Annals of Internal Medicine®, featuring In the Clinic® and ACP Journal Club® access to the College’s practice management and quality improvement tools; and, the Physicians' Information and Education Resource (PIER) ®. In addition, they receive discounts on many of the College's products and services, such as Internal Medicine 2012 and MKSAP 15®.

Non-Physician Affiliate members do not have voting privileges, and will not be able to hold office or become a Fellow in the College.

Dues for the Non-Physician Affiliates are $119.

To learn more, or to share this opportunity with allied health professionals in your office, visit www.acponline.org/npaffiliates.


ACP Congratulates the RUC on Expanded Primary Care Membership and Increased Transparency; Comprehensive Reform of Physician Payment System Still Needed

- article by Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP President, American College of Physicians

Washington - The American College of Physicians (ACP) congratulates the RVS Update Committee (RUC) for its decision to expand its membership to include more representation of primary care and geriatrics. The two added seats for these fields-combined with the existing seats for internal medicine specialists, internal medicine subspecialists, family physicians and pediatricians-will help ensure that the RUC has the necessary expertise from physicians with the training, skills and experience in comprehensive and longitudinal care of patients, especially those with complex illnesses. We believe that this change will help improve the accuracy and appropriateness of the relative value process. ACP also supports the RUC's efforts to improve recognition by Medicare of the value of physician services relating to the management of patients with complex illnesses.

In addition to the increased primary care representation, ACP is also encouraged by the RUC's decisions to increase transparency and advocate for chronic care coordination. Revealing vote totals on relative value recommendations will allow observers to better trust the RUC process. Also, the RUC's request and ongoing efforts to ensure that CMS appropriately recognize the care coordination services involved in caring for patients with chronic diseases are a step toward better aligning payment with appropriate care.

Even as we welcome and applaud the RUC's decisions, ACP will continue to advocate for comprehensive reform of the physician payment system to ensure accurate and fair valuation of physician services, including moving toward better models of payment aligned with value to the patient.


Implications of New Medicare Rule

More information on the quality and performance of physicians will be available from Medicare under a new rule adopted by the agency as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The rule allows "qualified entities" to apply for access to standardized extracts of Medicare claims data, said Niall Brennan, director of the policy and data analysis group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Those groups will be allowed to combine the Medicare data with claims data from other sources to produce performance reports on health care providers.

For the full story, visit the ACP Advocate.


New ACP Resources Compare Presidential Candidates' Healthcare Views

The 2012 presidential election is underway, and the leading candidates have begun to release details about their proposals relating to health care in the U.S. However, these proposals can often be difficult to sort through. ACP has developed several tools to help you take a critical look at these plans and get more involved.

ACP offers a comparison of the presidential candidates’ health reform proposals to help you navigate the primary season. We will continue to update this analysis as more details emerge.

Visit http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/election_2012/ to download PDFs of the candidates' views.


Upcoming Events

Internal Medicine 2012
Northwest Regional Reception
New Orleans Marriott
Friday, April 20th
Watch for final details in the March newsletter!

Save the Date!

2012 Montana Chapter Scientific Meeting
September 6-8, 2012
St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula


New Members

The following members joined the Montana Chapter in the past 6 months:

Jennifer A. Feighner, MD
James P. Heyboer II, MD
Christopher R. Lieb, MD

We welcome them to the Chapter and look forward to getting to know them!


New Fellow

The following member became a Fellow during the past six months:

Sandra S. McIntyre, MD, FACP

We congratulate her on this achievement!