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Utah Governor's Newsletter January 2020

Utah Chapter Banner

Mary H. Parsons, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Mary H. Parsons, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Greetings from the Governor

Greetings to all of you in the Utah Chapter as we start a new year and a new decade! Since the only constant in life is change, it will be exciting to see the progress and changes in our health care system in the decade to come.

Our chapter meeting planning committee has been hard at work planning our annual chapter meeting which will be held Thursday evening March 5 through all day Friday March 6. We hope you will be able to join us Thursday night for our poster competition, awards ceremony and keynote address as well as for the sessions on Friday. We will be introducing our governor-elect, Dr. Scott Woller and our award winners including our newest Master of ACP.

I hope to see many of you there.

The national ACP meeting this year is in Los Angeles April 23-25. We are hoping even more of our members will be able to attend since it is a closer location to us than many national meetings. The chapter will be hosting a reception Friday evening as we have the past few years. Please be sure to stop by if you are at the meeting to connect with your colleagues there.

Many of you are members of the AIM (Advocates for Internal Medicine) Network. If you are not, please see the article in the newsletter below and consider joining! The network allows you to get timely emails when there is an important issue affecting internal medicine upcoming in congress or sometimes locally. The emails include links that make it very easy to send a letter to your representatives about the issue.

Finally, I hope as you review the past year and look forward to the next that you are able to reflect on what led you to Internal Medicine as a career. May you be able to see the positive impact you have made on your patients and peers and continue the lifelong learning that keeps us current and inspired in our profession. ACP strives to work “for you and with you” to improve the lives of internists and their patients. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or ideas or would like to become more involved at the chapter level.

Mary Parsons, MD, FACP

If you've ever considered getting more involved with ACP you can learn more about joining our leadership committee by contacting us at




Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Fee Schedule:

In a big win for internists, the American College of Physicians (ACP) commends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for improving payment for evaluation and management (E/M) codes and reducing documentation burdens in the final rule for the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Yet efforts are being made by some physician specialties to persuade Congress to block these improvements for E/M services; it's imperative that they not succeed.

ACP is urging all of its members to actively engage with Congress in our effort to protect much-needed gains for primary and cognitive care that were included in the final physician fee schedule regulations. Take action now!

Utah Legislature Session:

Utah's Legislature Session begins later this month on January 27th and goes through March 12th, 2020. Please stay alert for the Utah legislature to discuss many important bills related to your patient's health and your practice.

Utah Medicaid Expansion:

Great News - Utah's Medicaid program has been expanded to cover individuals who make to up to 138% of the federal poverty limit, which is an annual income of $17,236 for an individual or $35,535 for a family of four. Under full Medicaid expansion, 120,000 Utah adults are estimated to qualify for Medicaid.

The approval of the Fallback Waiver, as authorized under Senate Bill 96, also approved community engagement requirements for the expanded Adult Expansion Population. However, there are many different exemptions from the community engagement requirements. For more information visit here.

Patients can apply by going here or patients can get free enrollment assistance by going to or by calling 2-1-1 or (801)-433-2299

Upcoming UTAH Advocacy Events

  • February 5, 2020 – The Utah Medical Association's Doctors Day at the Utah Legislation is on Tuesday, February 5th at the Utah State Capitol. This will be an exciting opportunity to meet and engage with Utah representatives in the legislature regarding bills and resolutions coming before the legislature this year concerning physicians, patients and health care in Utah. This event is only available to UMA members. Please RSVP with by February 2nd
  • May 12-13, 2020 - ACP's annual Leadership Day on Capitol Hill will be held on May 12-13, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is a great opportunity for our members to bring the college's policy priorities to Congress, meet with our legislators and staff, and try to influence the legislative process on behalf of internal medicine. For more information about Leadership Day including last year's policy priorities please visit:



Chapter & National Meeting

2020 UTAH Chapter Meeting – REGISTRATION OPEN

March 5-6, 2020 | Salt Lake City, UT | University Guest House

Another fantastic Utah Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting has been planned for 2020. You can learn more and register online .

2020 Program Highlights

Our annual Chapter Meeting is a 1.25-day CME program, providing a comprehensive overview of advances in Internal Medicine and related sub-specialties, geared specifically to your most pressing practice needs. In addition to earning up to 8.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM you may also earn 8.75 ABIM MOC points. Most importantly, you'll have the chance to meet, network, and exchange ideas with peers.


  • Keynote: The Internist in both Worlds: The intersection of Hospital and Outpatient Medicine by Heather Gantzer, MD, FACP
  • Workshops: Wilderness Medicine

Poster Competition and Awards Ceremony

See the full agenda and register online.

2020 ACP Internal Medicine Meeting

April 23-25 | Los Angeles, CA |Los Angeles Convention Center

Explore the robust schedule of over 200 high-quality scientific sessions and other unique and enriching events designed just for you. Whether you're at a meeting veteran or attending for the first time, you're sure to enjoy gathering with your peers for this exceptional education experience.

Learn more and register online.

Students, Residents & Fellows

2020 Poster Competition

March 5, 2020| Salt Lake City, UT | University Guest House

Are you a medical student, resident, or fellow who has seen a really interesting patient? Are you involved in research or quality improvement work? Submit a poster by February 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm!

We invite you to participate in the annual Poster Competition to be held on Thursday, March 5th at 4:45 pm at the University Guest House. All medical students, interns (categorical, prelim, transitional), internal medicine residents, and fellows in internal medicine specialties are invited to submit a poster about a topic in internal medicine. All posters submitted will be printed and on display during the ACP Chapter Meeting March 5-6, 2020. Everyone who submits has the opportunity to present their poster. Judges will select 2 semi-finalists winners from both poster categories – Clinical and Research – who will receive a cash prize. The grand prize winner (selected out of the 4 semi-finalists) will receive a $600 trip to ACP 2021 in Orlando, FL to present their winning poster. You will categorize your poster among the following categories: Clinical Vignette or Research (Clinical, Basic, or Quality Improvement/Patient Safety). Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need more information. To submit a poster, please email your submission to We look forward to reviewing your posters!

  • Deadline for submissions is February 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM
  • Presenting a poster may count as your scholarly activity requirement for the Utah Internal Medicine Residency Program

Please contact us with any questions at We look forward to seeing your submissions!



Hot Topics

Update your social media profile picture to include ACP's i.m. proud frame

Given ACP's ongoing I.M. Proud campaign, you might be interested in updating your personal Facebook and / or Twitter profile picture with ACP's I.M. Proud frame. Below are instructions for Facebook and Twitter.

For Facebook:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your account.
  2. Click here.
  3. You can now position and resize the frame.
  4. Scroll down to select how long you want the frame to be active on your profile picture.
  5. Click the Use as Profile Picture button.

For Twitter:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your account.
  2. Click here.
  3. Click the login to add twibbon button.
  4. Click login with twitter button.
  5. Click the authorize app button.
  6. Click the add to twitter button.
  7. You can now position and resize the frame.
  8. Click the add the twibbon to twitter button.
  9. Click the view on twitter button.

January webinars from ACP leadership academy

The ACP Leadership Academy will present two webinars in January. Webinars are open to all ACP members, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions following the presentations.

Gender-Based Differences in Burnout

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

The American College of Physicians and American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) present “Gender-Based Differences in Burnout.” In this free 1-hour webinar, Connie Newman, MD, FACP, and Kim Templeton, MD, explore the institutional and societal factors that contribute to burnout; discuss how burnout can differ between female and male physicians; and present strategies to reduce physician burnout.

Register Now

Mindfulness in Medicine: What Physicians Need to Know

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach to mitigating physician burnout, not only building calm but also enhancing focus, heightening compassion for self and others, and shifting limiting thought patterns. In this dynamic webinar, Gail Gazelle, MD, FACP, MCC, CMMT, will provide an overview of various conceptualizations of mindfulness, review research on its effectiveness, and provide practical strategies readily incorporated into the physician's workday.

Register Now

If you have any questions please contact Susan Koger.

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support E/M Wins in Final Fee Schedule Rule!

ACP is urging all of its members to actively engage with Congress in our effort to protect much-needed gains for primary and cognitive care that were included in the final physician fee schedule regulations. As announced on Nov. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized regulations that will go into effect in 2021 to greatly improve payments for your undervalued Evaluation and Management (E/M) services and reduce the time you must spend on unnecessary documentation. Yet efforts are being made by some physician specialties to persuade Congress to block these improvements for E/M services; it's imperative that they not succeed. We urgently need your help in reaching out to your members of Congress to urge them instead to support CMS's improvements in E/M payment and documentation.

Here's the back story. Last year, CMS decided it would pay the same flat amount for office visits levels 2 through 4, regardless of complexity, devaluing complex cognitive care. Now, in direct response to ACP advocacy, CMS has reversed itself and decided it will continue to pay appropriately more for each level of visit complexity rather than one combined flat fee. Even better, as ACP recommended, CMS agreed to increase overall payments for each office visit code, while reducing required documentation of them. We applaud CMS for having adopted so many of ACP's recommendations (see more information below) in the final regulations.

On November 6, 2019, ACP sent a letter to the leaders of the key congressional health care committees urging that they express their support to CMS for full implementation of the final regulations. ACP has decided to pro-actively take that step in reaching out to Congress because grassroots efforts on the part of some specialty organizations are underway to block, delay, or undermine the improvements in payments and documentation for office visits, to the detriment of internal medicine physicians, family physicians, other cognitive and primary care physicians-and most importantly, your patients. Now is not the time to be complacent but rather we must advocate vigorously to ensure that the final regulations are implemented.

Action Requested: Please send a letter to your members of Congress in both chambers urging them to advocate with CMS in support of full implementation of the 2020 physician fee schedule regulations. A sample letter has been provided for you that you can personalize. Using the “Take Action” link below, simply fill in your contact information, follow the prompts, and submit your letters electronically.

Take Action

Background: Major advocacy “wins” in the 2020 final physician fee schedule regulations include:

  1. Higher physician work RVUs for new and established office visit codes, leading to increased payments for them. The higher work RVUs are essential and based on evidence that shows that current payment levels undervalue the complexity of physician work in providing primary and cognitive care to patients.
  2. Reduced documentation requirements for office visit codes, which enables physicians to select and document for each visit based on medical decision-making or total time. These changes will allow physicians to spend more time with patients and less on documentation and paperwork.

Expanded and improved payment for care management services. Appropriate payment for care management will make it possible for physicians to coordinate care with others on the patient's clinical care team, leading to better health outcomes.