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ACP advocates on behalf on internists and their patients on a number of timely issues. Learn about where ACP stands on the following areas:
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Susan K. Pingleton, MD, FACP, FCCP
The Chapter is continuing to grow, participate and make progress
for our members, you! Information from the national office shows
over all chapter growth of 3.26%. We are very pleased about this,
as the growth has largely been in students and residents, our
upcoming members of the future. In the next year we will be seeking
to also continue to demonstrate value to all our members,
especially our practicing physicians. Dr. Ky
Stoltzfus has agreed to Chair our membership committee.
You will likely hear from him in the future about our efforts in
One of my goals as Governor has been to demonstrate to you the
value of the American College of Physicians. There is not better
example of this value than our national advocacy work. To that end
a group of us attended the ACP National Leadership Day in May in
DC. Drs. Donna Sweet, Isaac Opole, Brad Marples
and myself attended the meeting. We then met with the staff of
various Kansas representatives and senators. Please see Brad's
article later in this publication.
As you know the ACP has been unrelenting in support of repealing
the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate), something that has affected all
of us. That was finally accomplished when President Obama signed
the MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) on April
16. Repeal of the SGR is an excellent example of the value of the
American College of Physicians! No other physicians' organization
was as instrumental in this repeal as the ACP. Physician members of
the ACP have carried this message to Congress of years, finally
However other work remains. ACP members were detailed and then
asked to inform their congressional representatives on the need for
Congress to continue the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Payment
Program, the restore Medicare Medicaid pay parity and to
strategically increase funding for GME (graduate medical
education). If you are interested in more detail, I would refer you
to Sr. Vice President Bob Doherty's article
in the ACP Internist.
Much effort and many plans are being made for our Chapter Annual
meeting to being held October 14-16 in Wichita. Another goal of
mine has been to grow this meeting for our members as well as
support our resident trainees. Our Program Chair, Melissa
Gaines, MD has put together an interesting 2-½ day
program (see details later in this newsletter).
Isaac O. Opole, MD FACP
It is amazing how time flies! It has been a year since my
confirmation as Governor-elect Designee, and the learning curve has
been quite steep. Fortunately, I have had a superb Mentor and
friend who has provided me ample opportunity early in the process
to learn as much as I can about the chapter. This winter and
spring, Sue and I both attended the legislative days in Topeka and
in Washington DC, and it was eye opening to see the amount of
effort that our colleagues have put into pushing for a wholesome
healthcare legislative agenda. We traveled to Washington DC just
after passage of H.R. 2 (better known as the "Doc Fix") and it was
really exciting to see what a concerted, relentless and focused
advocacy can achieve. H.R. 2 has been one of the few bipartisan
legislative accomplishments of this congress, and it is without
question a stunning achievement for physicians as a whole, but
particularly for the American College of Physicians, the largest
physician representative body in the country.
Passage of H.R.2 is instructive of what we can achieve with
strong leadership and representation, collaboration and cooperation
across disciplines in medicine, as well as cooperation with other
branches and industry. Other challenges exist, particularly in our
state, with regards to service provision for underserved, rural and
critical access hospitals. We plan to continue our cooperation with
our colleagues in Family Medicine, Surgery and Emergency Medicine
to push for a statewide solution to the coverage gap. We also hope
to learn from our colleagues in other chapters, and just completed
a joint two-day strategic planning session with our colleagues from
Nebraska and South Dakota. Our greatest challenge will be to
provide greater value to our membership while maintaining a tempo
of both local and regional representation on behalf of our members
and our patients. I look forward to taking up the challenge and
carrying on the Torch for our chapter.
ACP Leadership Day was May 20 and 21 in Washington DC. 287
physicians and medical students from across the country came to
learn about advocacy issues and meet with their members of
congress. Kansas was represented by Sue Pingleton, MD,
FACP, KS ACP Governor, Isaac Opole MD, PhD,
FACP, KS ACP Governor elect, Donna Sweet, MD,
MACP, former Governor for KS and former Regent of the
College and Brad Marples, MD, Chairman of the
Health and Public Policy Committee.
We met with the legislative staff members who were responsible
for health care in all the Kansas Congressional delegation offices.
We thanked the members of Congress for their support in repealing
the SGR (except for Rep Huelskamp). Topics discussed with the
offices included Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program (10%
primary care incentive set to expire at the end of this year),
Medicaid Primary Care Pay Parity (which has expired and we pushed
HR 2253 and S 737 to ensure Medicaid primary care payments would be
equal to Medicare), Graduate Medical Education Funding and funding
for Vital Federal Healthcare programs.
Bradley Marples, Chair HPPC
Leadership Day 2015
We would like to increase our membership numbers for Kansas ACP.
Do you know of an internist in your community who is not currently
a member but might consider joining ACP? If so, please talk to
her/him about the benefits of ACP membership including MOC help,
advocacy regarding physician reimbursement and practice issues, CME
opportunities, etc. Each new member recruited will have his/her
Kansas Chapter meeting fee waived this year. Under the
"Recruit-a-Colleague Program" you will receive a $100
credit toward your 2015-16 annual dues when you recruit a member by
March 15, 2015. This also translates to more funds for the chapter
to host a high quality chapter meeting each year and continue the
work of ACP. You can find more information here.
New members can join online or by calling ACP at 800-523-1546.
Your name must be included as the "recruiter" on the registration
in order to receive credit.
Ky Stoltzfus, Chair Membership Committee
There are less than three months remaining until the transition
from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding for medical diagnoses and inpatient
hospital procedures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) (along with the American Medical Association (AMA)),
announced efforts to help physicians get ready ahead of the October
1 deadline. CMS is released additional guidance that allows for
flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting
The additional guidance (link)
details that "for 12 months after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare
review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner
claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule ... based
solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as
the physician/practitioner used a valid code from the right
family." This 1-year grace period also will apply to codes
submitted in connection with the Meaningful Use program as well as
quality reporting programs like the Physician Quality Reporting
The guidance also said that if there are problems submitting
ICD-10 codes, CMS may in some cases authorize advance payments to
The American College of Physicians (ACP) said in a press release
from its Washington office, among other things, "ACP appreciates
that CMS has directed the Medicare Administrative Contractors and
Recovery Audit Contractors not to reject or deny claims based
solely on an error due to the lack of accuracy or specificity
within the appropriate code family during this transition."
CMS detailed its operating plans for the ICD-10 implementation.
These include setting up an ICD-10 communications and coordination
center, learning from best practices of other large technology
implementations that will be in place to identify and resolve
issues arising from the ICD-10 transition.
It's important to note that, in accordance with the coming
transition, the Medicare claims processing systems will not have
the capability to accept ICD-9 codes for dates of services after
September 30, 2015, nor will they be able to accept claims for both
ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes.
CMS will name a CMS ICD-10 Ombudsman to triage and answer
questions about the submission of claims. The ICD-10 Ombudsman will
be located at CMS's ICD-10 Coordination Center.
CMS' free help includes the "Road to 10" website, aimed
specifically at smaller physician practices with primers for
clinical documentation, clinical scenarios, and other
specialty-specific resources to help with implementation.
ACP offers many resources on its ACPonline
website. The resources are extensive and geared towards
internists. They are valuable benefits to every ACP member.
Sam Antonios, MD FACP, Chair, Early Career
Boston 2015 Reception
It's that time of year again…..time to start planning to
attend the Kansas ACP Scientific Meeting. I want to personally
invite you to attend. This year our meeting will be October 14-16
ABIM MOC module on Infectious Diseases.
ACP Regent Molly Cooke gives a college update
and speaks on "Current Controversies in Internal Medicine
Mahlon H. Delp Lecturer Theodore V. Parran, Jr.
presents "Prudent Prescribing of Long-Term Controlled Drugs" and
"How to Say No and Still Maintain Strong Patient Satisfaction
ACP Sr. Vice President Bob Doherty speaks on
what's new in advocacy.
Other topics include Getting to the Point of Adult Vaccines,
Non-Invasive Methods for Staging Liver Fibrosis Endoscopic
Ultrasound in Pancreatic Cancer, Patient Centered Medical Home,
Don't Let Anchoring Sink Your Diagnosis, and New Type II Diabetes
Drugs, and many more opportunities to network and share ideas.
Meeting details can be found in our brochure.
direct link to the registration site
I look forward to seeing each of you in Wichita! Melissa Gaines,
MD FACP, Chair 2015 Program Committee