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Alabama Governor's Newsletter June 2016

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Gustavo R. Heudebert, MD, MACP, ACP Governor

Gustavo R. Heudebert, MD, MACP, ACP Governor

The American College of Physicians has named Darilyn Moyer, MD, FACP, as its next Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. We'd like to congratulate her on behalf on the Alabama chapter! To learn more about Dr. Moyer and the transition in leadership, visit the ACP newsroom here.

The Annual ACP meeting in Washington, DC was a resounding success; unfortunately, I had to leave Washington after the Board of Governor meeting to fly to my native Peru for a wedding but know that Elizabeth Turnipseed, MD, FACP did a great job leading the Alabama delegation on Friday's convocation ceremony.

With the meeting happening in Washington this year, I had the opportunity to join Dr. Elizabeth Turnipseed, the Council Health Care Policy Chair, in both the educational activities offered on Tuesday as well as in doing the visits to the Hill on Wednesday morning. The College shared with us seven areas of legislative concern and asked us to choose two of them to bring up to the senators. After a discussion with Christi Long, the Administrative Assistant of the AL chapter, the two of us decided to tackle GME Financing and Governance as well as the rising costs of novel therapeutic agents as topics to broach at the Hill. While all of Congress were out that week, we had the opportunity to speak for 30 minutes with staff members of both Senators Shelby and Sessions office staff. Both individuals were rather knowledgeable on both areas and for the most part agreed with the position of ACP on these important matters. Finally, as part of ACP's Legislative Day 2016, Dr. Turnipseed and I were introduced to the College's Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMN). This program is for ACP members who wish to advocate for the interests of internal medicine at the national level. If you are interested in participating, register online.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) replaced the SGR formula and has as its goal improving care for Medicare patients by shifting the payment system from volume to value. Click here for an overview of what you need to know…2017 reporting will affect 2019 payments! For those who attended the chapter meeting, a special workshop was provided to understand the importance and reach of this new legislation.

As has been the case for the last several years, the Steve Weinberger, the ACP CEO, gave an update on the ABIM MOC process. While the ACP is satisfied with the first steps taken by the ABIM it has urged the ABIM leadership to come up with more specifics about the future of MOC. Important topics of discussion include the relevance of the exam based on the kind of practice internists or subspecialties are engaged with as well as the frequency / intensity of the MOC process. Perhaps the most important message from the ACP leadership is the continuous engagement of both ACP and ABIM in this matter.

With the 2016 Presidential election process is full swing, the College has provided a breakdown of the critical issues and its policy on each one. ACP cannot and does not endorse a particular candidate for public office; rather, it provides this information for its members as an educational tool only. Complete information is available at acponline.org.

At the local level, I would like to concentrate my efforts for the next twelve months in a number of areas; first, I would like to provide as much support to practicing internists regarding the complex transition to a value based payment for physician services starting with the MACRA legislation. Wonderful opportunities can arise from this initiative; however the decision on the choice of payment for the providers is a rather important one and hopefully the workshop at the chapter meeting as well as the portal of the ACP on this subject would provide our members with the kind of information required to make the best possible decision for their respective practice. Second, I would like to increase the membership of AL ACP chapter; in a time where more of the cost of membership to national organizations is being borne at the individual level as well as the competing number of organizations to belong to continues to grow, we need to make the case to our colleagues of the value of the ACP. Certainly the products offer by the College are of immense value including the Annals of Internal Medicine, the MKSAP, and well as the new addition of DynaMed. Perhaps most important, is to know that this organization is the largest one in the world for internists and has a long standing tradition of advocacy for the training and practice of Internal medicine; the larger the number of members, the more influence the College can carry in its conversations with Congress, the ABIM, and pharmaceutical industry to name a few of the organizations the College is engaged with. Third, I would like to strengthen the process of involvement of our chapter in the College Resolution process; this mechanism allows for matters to be elevated at the national level by receiving the endorsement of all of the Governors and eventually the Board of Regents.

I hope you enjoy the summer in the company of your family and loved ones; I look forward to my week of vacation in Gulf Shores in the company of my family and friends. I will continue to work closely with the AL Council to address maters of importance to the practicing internist of Alabama as well as to continue to be engaged in the discussion of other matters of national importance. To this end, please feel free to contact me or members of the Council regarding matters that we can articulate in the form of a resolution to be submitted for consideration and discussion at the next Board of Governors meeting.