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Understanding MOC Requirements
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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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American College of Physicians seeks to "preserve essential
graduate medical education funding while ensuring taxpayers are
getting optimal value."
September 7, 2011
(Washington) - "Federal funds must be used efficiently to align
spending with workforce policy goals and ensure that taxpayers are
getting optimal value from their investment in GME (graduate
medical education)," the American College of Physicians (ACP) noted
today. The organization made these and other comments when its
latest policy paper, Aligning GME
Policy with the Nation's Health Care Workforce
Needs, was released today.
ACP has long been concerned about the shortage of primary care
physicians in the United States, particularly the supply of
internal medicine specialists (internists). Internists specialize
in primary and comprehensive care of adults and adolescents and are
at the forefront of managing chronic diseases. Internists' skills
will increasingly be necessary to take care of the growing
population of patients with chronic diseases, the paper says.
"Numerous studies have shown that systems with a sufficient
supply of primary care physicians have better outcomes at lower
costs," pointed out Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP, president of
ACP. "Yet the nation is facing a severe shortage of internists and
other primary care physicians for adults - an estimated
44,000-46,000 by 2025." The figure Dr. Hood cited does not take
into account the increasing demand for primary care services as 32
million uninsured American obtain coverage through the reforms in
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In its 26-page policy paper, ACP provides 11 recommendations to
preserve sufficient funding to support GME in the United States
while ensuring that such spending is used effectively. The paper
recommends policies to strengthen transparencies, accountabilities
and value, including aligning financing with an assessment of
workforce needs, weighting funding to support programs that train
primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages, and
funding pilots of innovative models to train physicians in the
specialties and with the skills needed to meet societal needs The
recommendations are made with the perspective that the federal
deficit is at an all-time high and that there is an increased
commitment to fiscal responsibility. In fact, the paper points out,
entitlement programs, such as Medicare, are facing greater
"Congress needs to ensure sufficient funding for Graduate
Medical Education to ensure that the United States has enough
physicians with the skills needed to take care of an aging
population with more chronic diseases and to reverse a growing
shortage of primary care physicians," said Dr. Hood, who is a
professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont. "At the same
time, GME funding should be better aligned with an assessment of
workforce needs and all payers should contribute to GME.
"The federal government should also partner with the medical
profession to support innovative models of ambulatory training and
exposure to team-based approaches to patient care," Dr. Hood
continued. "While implementing such changes will require
collaboration among all the stakeholders in primary care training,
it will also require changes to GME financing and the support of
those who pay for health care."
Beyond its concern for primary care, ACP notes in its policy
paper that it feels strongly that the GME system should ensure that
the nation has an adequate supply of the types of physicians needed
to treat patients, that they enter the workforce with the knowledge
and skills required to provide the highest quality care, and that
all Americans have access to such care. The nation will not be able
to expand access, improve health outcomes, and decrease health care
expenditures without a national health care workforce policy and
the appropriate direction of funding to achieve these goals.
The American College of Physicians is the
largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest
physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000
internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists,
and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention,
detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on
David Kinsman, (202) email@example.com
Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) firstname.lastname@example.org