June 21, 2024

ACP Advocate

Advocacy in Action

ACP and Other Health Care Groups Join Forces With the White House to Curb Gun Violence

During a June 6 event at the White House, health care professionals came together to advocate for measures to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths.

ACP Policy News

ACP Calls for More Balanced Approach to AI in Health Care

In new position paper, recommendations are made for the ethical, scientific and clinical use of artificial intelligence.

Quick Hits

OCR Publishes FAQs on Cyberattack, Additional Clarity Still Needed

HHS's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently published FAQs about the Change Healthcare cybersecurity incident that occurred earlier this year. The office is working with Change Healthcare and UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to ensure they are aware of and take action with regard to their regulatory obligations and responsibilities under the HIPAA Rules, as ACP recommended in a previous letter to OCR. The FAQs from OCR state that HIPAA-covered entities, including physicians, can request that Change Healthcare perform breach notification on their behalf. If physicians do this, they would not have additional HIPAA breach notification obligations under HITECH and the HIPAA Rule, however details are still needed about the process and there could be a lengthy delay in reporting. OCR does not explicitly direct affected physicians to make breach notifications at this time.

UHG has also established a website to provide updates and resources, including its own FAQs page and a call center (1-866-262-5342). ACP will continue to monitor all agency actions, and other Change Healthcare/UHG matters as they unfold with an eye toward implications for physicians and business associates. Physicians and administrators should carefully review both the OCR and Change Healthcare/UHG resources and monitor the webpages for updates. Physicians are also strongly encouraged to contact Change Healthcare and UHG in writing to ask about the breach notification process.

Apply Now to Participate in the ACO PC Flex Model

Now, through Aug. 1, CMS is receiving applications for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that are interested in participating in a new voluntary, ACO PC Flex. Interested applicants must participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and must have a classification as a low-revenue ACO. Additional information and the application can be found on the CMS website.

ACP recently told CMS that while the model may improve access to care, particularly in existing underserved areas, there are some concerns about the program's construction. One of the benefits of this new model is the provision of funds to hire additional support staff (e.g., medical assistants, nurse case managers, and peer recovery specialists) to support the daily practice of primary care. However, ACP is concerned that all funds may not flow directly to primary care physicians. ACP will continue to work with CMS to ensure that new primary care models deliver funds to the appropriate destinations.

In Case You Missed It

Advocacy News from ACP

ACP response to the Senate Finance Committee White Paper on Bolstering Chronic Care through Physician Payment
Letter in response to the Senate Finance Committee white paper to start a bipartisan discussion on how to strengthen chronic care.

ACP Statement to the House E&C Health Subcommittee on CMMI Hearing
Statement in support of the transition to value-based payment and the role that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) plays in designing, testing, and implementing new payment models.

Joint Letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Supporting the Transforming Episode Accountability Model (TEAM) Decarbonization and Resilience Initiative
Joint comment letter on a proposed plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to incorporate climate change into its work across the department.

Joint Comment Letter to CMS Proposed Rule: FY 2025 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes
Joint letter in support of TEAM, which would assign responsibility for a patient's care to select hospitals that perform specific procedures for patients with traditional Medicare.

ACP Comments on ONC Advancing Health Equity by Design and Health Information Technology White Paper
Comment letter on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC) efforts to encourage that health equity be a primary consideration in the development of health IT.

Joint Letter to House Appropriations Committee Opposing Restrictions on FDA's Authority Over Tobacco Products
Joint letter opposing provisions to bills that would narrow, weaken, or modify FDA's current authority to oversee tobacco products.

ACP and ACP OH Joint Letter on HB 130, Prior Authorization Exemption
Joint letter from ACP and ACP Ohio Chapter in support of Ohio House Bill 130, which would begin to address the harm caused by prior authorization requirements.

ACP Response to Request for Information on Consolidation in Health Care Markets
Letter in response to multi-agency public inquiry into private equity and other corporations' increasing control over health care.

Joint Letter Supporting Gun Violence Prevention Research Funding in Fiscal Year 2025
Joint letter in support of federal funding to conduct public health research into firearm morbidity and mortality prevention.


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