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ACP Applauds CMS Changes in Evaluation and Management Code Documentation Requirements for Medical Students

Statement attributable to:
Jack Ende, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (February 8, 2018) —The American College of Physicians (ACP) is pleased with the newly announced change allowing teaching physicians to verify student documentation in a patient’s medical record related to Evaluation and Management Code services.  Prior to the change, physicians were required to re-document most work performed by medical students—which is often very thorough and based on careful and supervised evaluation—rather than review, refer to, amend, and/or correct the student note.  This change allows teaching physicians to provide a meaningful educational experience for the student within a much more streamlined workflow; thus eliminating an unnecessary administrative burden for teaching physicians and improving the ability for students to feel valued and to learn. 

The changes will help better prepare medical students to effectively use an EHR, allow medical students to become more meaningful participants in patient care, and help them develop important competencies needed for continued training, licensure, and the lifelong practice of medicine.

This announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the type of common sense change that can help to alleviate the impact of administrative burdens on physicians.  As a practicing physician and medical educator, I know first-hand the impact that these types of efficiency improvements can have on the quality of our medical education and on the quality of the patient care we are able to provide.

ACP worked closely with the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine and others in the internal medicine community, as well through direct efforts with CMS to push for this change that has a positive impact on medical students, teaching physicians, and patients. ACP has long advocated for changes to reduce unnecessary practice burdens and simplify administrative tasks, as exemplified through its Patients Before Paperwork initiative, which began in 2015.

ACP will continue to work on behalf of internists and internal medicine students to advocate for changes that simplify and streamline administrative tasks that add burden to the health care system and improve the education of our future physicians. Regulatory change is possible when those in the internal medicine community work together.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: Jackie Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org