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ACP-ASIM agenda stresses regulatory relief, access to care

College campaigns to reduce administrative burdens on physicians

Feb. 22, 2001

Washington— The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) is calling on the nation’s lawmakers to enact regulatory and legislative reforms to reduce burdens placed on physicians and improve the overall quality of America’s health care.

The College believes that reducing unnecessary administrative burdens placed on physicians is key to the physician-patient relationship.

“Both private and government insurers need to recognize that managing and documenting processes should not create such a burden that it interferes with patients’ care," said Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, FACP, ACP-ASIM president.

ACP-ASIM is directing its efforts at achieving administrative reform of:

  • Medicare pre- and post-payment auditing processes;

  • Medicare appeals procedures;

  • Oversight of Medicare carriers to insure better uniformity and adherence to Medicare policy;

  • Education and communications to physicians regarding Medicare policy;

  • Shifting of Medicare policies throughout the calendar year;

  • Accountability of HCFA and the Medicare carriers in addressing concerns that are expressed by physicians, other health care providers, and consumers;

  • Documentation requests to justify reimbursement; and

  • Recognition of administrative burdens in Medicare payments.

Furthermore, ACP-ASIM is calling on lawmakers to pass a variety of reforms that would,  among others, increase access to health care for millions of Americans and put in place strong patient protections. Lawmakers are called upon to:

  • Expand access to health insurance for low-wage uninsured workers, through refundable tax credits and expansion of the Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP);

  • Reduce health care errors and institute a voluntary reporting system with strong confidentiality and peer review provisions;

  • Provide Medicare coverage for prescription drugs, with sustainable financing and strong consumer protection principles on the use of pharmacy benefit managers to control costs; and

  • Enact a strong patients' bill of rights.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership encompasses more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

David Edelson, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4575
Jack Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-04-03

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