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Indiana Governor's Newsletter January 2021

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Bradley M. Sutter, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Bradley M. Sutter, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

 


Governor's Welcome

2021 has commenced much as 2020 left us: the COVID19 pandemic rages on, with our hospitals at capacity nationwide; great political turmoil, culminating in a truly tragic day of rioting in the very heart of our democracy; and ongoing, widespread inequities in healthcare access and resources exacerbated by the pandemic. Many primary care practices have closed, and many are struggling, also due to the severe economic impact from the pandemic. It is all very overwhelming at times, for all of us. And yet, as the new year dawns, there is, indeed, hope. As ACP President Jacqueline Fincher, MD, MACP reminds us in her January 2021 ACP Internist President's Message, we are witnessing a “Fauci Effect” that offers us a voice of reason, science, and truth to overcome the fear, misinformation, and mistrust currently circulating throughout much of social media, and our country. This effect is seen in the record number of medical school applicants, as well as the great promise that the newly approved and highly effective COVID19 vaccines will finally bring an end to the pandemic. I encourage you to read Dr. Fincher's sincere and thought-provoking article via the link found here.

We also remain focused on addressing physician burnout and well-being, already growing problems pre-pandemic, and now exacerbated by the relentless toll COVID19 has taken on our practices, patients, and families. ACP Wellness Champions, including our own Dr. Michelle Solik, continue to share suggestions and offer virtual opportunities to learn how to maintain, and enhance, our personal and professional well-being during such difficult times. I encourage you to take a moment to look at the latest ACP physician wellness resources here.

Meanwhile, ACP continues to maintain an updated, user-friendly, comprehensive COVID19 resource guide for physicians to utilize in managing patients and their practices, including the latest updates on vaccine guidelines, drug treatments, PPE standards, and much more. Please utilize these valuable resources to optimize COVID19 patient management, and to keep up to date in the latest science-based treatment options, by clicking on the link found here.

Please plan to attend our upcoming Indiana Chapter Awards Ceremony for our 2020 awardees. We would love for you to join us on 2/18 @ 7:00PM for this important event in the life of our chapter, which recognizes the valuable contributions and noteworthy achievements made by our Indiana Chapter professional colleagues. We look forward to this opportunity to celebrate their success. Please send an email to colleenkeekuacp@gmail.com for the access link.

We will also be reviewing feedback from our very successful, first-ever virtual chapter meeting held late last October, in preparation for the 2021 Indiana Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting. This valuable CME activity will also be virtual, free to all registrants, and will be held on November 19, 2021. Please look for an upcoming SAVE THE DATE email notification and do plan to join us. We will also be planning related Indiana Chapter Resident and Student Council Members activities and a poster session during that timeframe. Register by Jan 31st for early rates for the upcoming IM 2021 Virtual Meeting April 29-May 1, which will provide virtual access to valuable CME and other ACP events from the comfort of your home, and up to 30 days after the actual meeting dates.

Last, but not least, we are working to organize Women in Medicine and Early Career Physician virtual activities for 2021, and we hope to throw in a few surprises along the way! It all promises to be another year of opportunities to fortify our medical knowledge, to establish and/or refresh friendships with our statewide ACP colleagues, and to help prepare us to deal with changes in our professional practices wrought by the pandemic. ACP continues to advocate for all of us, as the largest physician specialty organization in the United States. If you have not renewed your membership recently, please consider doing so—our voices, individually and collectively, matter.

Stay safe, and be well.

Sincerely,

Bradley M. Sutter, MD, FACP

Governor, Indiana Chapter

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Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccine Forum III—Allocation and Distribution: What Physicians Need to Know

Register today for an ACP member-exclusive virtual live event, from ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine, COVID-19 Vaccine Forum III—Allocation and Distribution: What Physicians Need to Know on January 22, 2021, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. ET. A panel of experts will provide practical information related to what physicians and other health care professionals need to know about the allocation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Registration is required.

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Internal Medicine Meeting 2021: Virtual Experience Early Bird Information

ACP's Internal Medicine Meeting 2021: Virtual Experience is just a few months away. ACP members save more on their meeting registration rates if they register by the January 31, 2021 Early Bird deadline. Register now to save the most and get ready for this truly interactive live learning event!

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Advocacy in Action—2020 Achievements

2020 delivered unprecedented challenges but ACP continued to advocate for internal medicine physicians, achieving policy change that improved daily practice and patient care.

  • Achieved Historic Payment Wins with CMS and Congress

Wins include increased pay for office visit and other E/M codes that will result in an estimated 6% increase in total 2021 Medicare payments to internal medicine physicians.

  • Supported Physicians and Patients during COVID-19

Achieved financial assistance for practices; pay parity for telemedicine; Medicare regulatory requirements eased; increased funding for testing and treatment; and increased availability of PPE.

  • Addressed Barriers to Care, Disparities, and Discrimination in Health Care

Promoted diversity equity and inclusion, releasing “Racism and Health in the United States” policy; participated in joint arguments to protect the ACA; and opposed rules to deny access to care.

  • Policy Development Focus

Addressed promoting prescription drug competition, step-therapy and nonmedical drug switching, and new surprise medical billing provisions; provided recommendations to the Biden transition team.

  • Published New Vision for Comprehensive Health Care Reform

Envisioning a Better U.S. Health Care System for All proposes comprehensive reform of U.S. health care, the importance of which is magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout 2021, ACP will continue to advocate for changes that help physicians and their patients; collaborate with other health care associations to find solutions; and inform conversations about health care.

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ISMA's Physician Advocacy Day

Due to COVID-19 and the resulting changes to the legislative format this year, we're adjusting this year and will be facilitating a “Physician Advocacy Week” during the week of March 15th.

While these plans are subject to change to accommodate the fluid nature of the 2021 session, we hope ACP members can mark your calendars. We'll be working during the first month of session to prepare multiple ways for physicians to get involved, including email/letter campaigns and virtual meetings. Please stay tuned for updates from ISMA—we'll be sharing more information as the session progresses and links for members to sign up to participate.

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Register Today: FACP Town Hall

Presented exclusively for ACP Fellows, the American College of Physicians will hold a special “FACP Town Hall” webinar event on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 3:00 pm ET. Topics include ACP activities and efforts in advocacy and public policy, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, physician well-being, medical education, and more.

Hosted by Philip A. Masters, MD, FACP, Vice President, Membership and Global Engagement, speakers include Jacqueline Winfield Fincher, MD, MACP, ACP President; Heather E. Gantzer, MD, MACP, Chair, Board of Regents; Gregory C. Kane, MD, MACP, Treasurer; William E. Fox, MD, FACP, Chair, Board of Governors; and Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, FACP, FRCP, FIDSA, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer. A Q&A session will follow. Register here.

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