Letter from the EVP and CEO
Since the founding of the American College of Physicians (ACP) in 1915, ACP leaders have made it their mission to advance medical science, serve the profession and its patients, and secure the future of internal medicine.
Over the years, numerous changes have affected where and how internists practice medicine. Large group practices are replacing solo practitioners and younger physicians are choosing different employment settings. Online diagnosis forums, minute clinics, electronic health systems that still fall short of what practitioners need, and administrative complexities and regulatory requirements are making it difficult to navigate the terrain of today’s primary care environment.
Despite the changes and challenges, one thing remains clear. Internists and internal medicine subspecialists—who provide and coordinate the best care for an array of complex and complicated issues and integrate the highest level of scientific evidence and reasoning with patients’ needs, goals, and preferences—are essential to medicine’s future.
Equally clear, ACP remains committed to helping you, its members, stay ahead of the curve on all issues related to medical science, patient care, and practice improvement. And we will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to address administrative mandates that do not improve quality of care and deplete physicians’ most valuable resource—time.
A major priority for ACP over the past year has been the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. We have strongly advocated to ABIM about the need for significant reform, and ABIM has begun to make changes. There’s still work to be done. ACP leadership is committed to advocating on your behalf and representing your concerns, and we’ll continue to work toward ensuring the MOC process evolves for increased relevance and value.
The recent repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula (H.R. 2) and transition to a new value-based system represents a historic moment, and we applaud the efforts of so many in Congress who worked in a bipartisan fashion to develop this legislation. The legislation does more than remove yearly payment cuts, it also provides strong incentives for physicians to engage in activities to improve quality. It streamlines existing quality reporting programs and provides additional support to physicians who participate in Patient-Centered Medical Homes and other alternative payment models shown to improve outcomes.
Lessons from the past shaping the future
This year, ACP is celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Our history is evidence that ACP has adapted, evolved, and defied the odds, surviving multiple recessions, two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a seamless transition into the Digital Age.
Today, as we find ourselves fully immersed in a high-tech world, surrounded by a knowledge-based society and a global economy, the landscape may be different but the qualities that have made the College a lasting and durable entity are with us still:
- Mission Our mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine continues to unite us. We work diligently to improve and expand our portfolio of educational resources by extending their scope and embracing emerging technologies to better meet the needs of the entire internal medicine community—general internists, subspecialists, hospitalists, educators, residents and fellows, medical students, allied health professionals, and patients.
- Leadership ACP Regents, Governors, and committee members continue to take a grass-roots approach to addressing the issues that will impact our patients, our members, and our profession.
- Relevance ACP is continually expanding the scope of its educational products, publications, initiatives, and clinical guidelines, and finding innovative ways to deliver their content. Our goal is to help our members succeed in their practices by meeting requirements, reporting on quality of care measures, and transforming their practices into patient-centered medical homes.
In a culture that worships everything new and young, ACP is proud to proclaim we are not new. We are 100 years old. Mindful of the past, but with feet firmly planted in the present, our goal is to secure a satisfying future for internists and forge a lasting legacy of Leading Internal Medicine, Improving Lives.
I welcome your feedback and thank you for your continued support.
- Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP
- Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer