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Current Public Policy Papers


ACP public policy papers summarize and dissect published research and discussion on current issues involving clinical practice, medical education, bioethics, and health care financing and delivery, and make specific recommendations for internists, patients, and policy makers. Read about ACP's public policy development process.

Learn more about where ACP stands on important and timely issues:


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Position Statement on Immunization of Health Care Workers (9/14/2021)
  • Position Statement on Immunization Policies to Protect the Public (9/14/2021)
  • Pharmacist Scope of Practice (6/8/2021)
  • ACP Statement on Global COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Allocation: On Being Ethical and Practical (6/6/2021)
  • Identifying Essential Elements to Ease Social Distancing Protocols, Address White House Guidance to “Re-open” the U.S. (4/17/2020)
  • Protecting Patient and Physician Health and Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic (4/1/2020)
  • Statement on Nonurgent In-Person Medical Care During COVID-19 Emergency (3/24/2020)
  • ACP Policy Statement on Wearing Masks in Community Settings (7/13/2020)
  • Partial Resumption of Economic, Health Care and Other Activities While Mitigating COVID-19 Risk and Expanding System Capacity (5/6/2020)
  • Non-Discrimination in the Stewardship and Allocation of Resources During Health System Catastrophes Including COVID-19 (3/26/2020)
  • ACP Policy on Social Distancing During COVID-19 Emergency (3/26/2020)

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Racial Health Disparities, Prejudice and Violence

  • A Comprehensive Policy Framework to Understand and Address Disparities and Discrimination in Health and Health Care (2021)
  • Understanding and Addressing Disparities and Discrimination in Education and in the Physician Workforce (2021)
  • Understanding and Addressing Disparities and Discrimination Affecting the Health and Health Care of Persons and Populations at Highest Risk (2021)
  • Understanding and Addressing Disparities and Discrimination in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Affecting the Health of At-Risk Persons and Populations (2021)
  • Racism and Health in the United States: A Policy Statement from the American College of Physicians (2020)
  • Addressing Social Determinants to Improve Patient Care and Promote Health Equity (2018)
  • Position Statement on Recognizing Hate Crimes as a Public Health Issue (2017)

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Health Care Reform/Access

  • Health Care for Our Nation’s Veterans: A Policy Paper From the American College of Physicians (October 2021)
  • Mitigating the Negative Impact of Step Therapy Policies and Nonmedical Switching of Prescription Drugs on Patient Safety (November 2020)
  • Improving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Insurance Coverage Provisions (April 2019)
  • Women's Health Policy in the United States (May 2018)
  • Addressing Social Determinants to Improve Patient Care and Promote Health Equity (April 2018)
  • Health and Public Policy to Facilitate Effective Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Involving Illicit and Prescription Drugs: An American College of Physicians Position Paper (May 2017)
  • A Prescription for a Forward-Looking Agenda to Improve American Health Care (May 2017)
  • Addressing the Increasing Burden of Health Insurance Cost Sharing (May 2016)
  • The Integration of Care for Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Other Behavioral Health Conditions into Primary Care (August 2015)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Disparities (May 2015)
  • State of the Nation's Health Care 2013: A Two-pronged Strategy to Improve American Health Care: Make the Health System More Effective AND Remove Barriers to the Patient-Physician Relationship (February 2013) 
  • The Present and Future of the Affordable Care Act (March 2012)
  • National Immigration Policy and Access to Health Care (April 2011)  
  • Individual Mandates in Health Insurance Reform (July 2009)
  • Reforming the Tax Exclusion for Health Insurance (July 2009)
  • A Public Plan Option in a Health Insurance Connector (July 2009)
  • Achieving Affordable Health Insurance for All Within Seven Years: A proposal from America's Internists, Updated 2008 (May 2008)  
  • State Experimentation With Reforms To Expand Access To Health Care (July 2007)  
  • Achieving a High Performance Health Care System with Universal Access: What the USA can learn from other countries (December 2007)  

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Payment/Delivery System Reform

  • Assessing the Patient Care Implications of "Concierge" and Other Direct Patient Contracting Practices (November 2015)
  • Retail Health Clinics (October 2015)
  • The Patient Centered Medical Home Neighbor: The Interface of the Patient Centered Medical Home with Specialty/Subspecialty Practices (October 2010)  
  • ACP Policy Positions on the Development of Accountable Care Organizations (April 2010)  
  • Comprehensive Payment Reform Position Paper: Reforming Physician Payments to Achieve Greater Value in Health Care Spending (April 2009)  
  • Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (March 2007)
  • A System in Need of Change: Restructuring Payment Policies to Support Patient-Centered Care (October 2006)  
  • Reform of the Dysfunctional Healthcare Payment and Delivery System (April 2006)  
  • The Advanced Medical Home: A Patient-Centered, Physician-Guided Model of Health Care (January 2006)

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Health Information Technology

  • Health Information Privacy, Protection, and Use in the Expanding Digital Health Ecosystem (April 2021)
  • Policy Recommendations to Guide the Use of Telemedicine in Primary Care Settings (September 2015)
  • Clinical Documentation in the 21st Century (January 2015)
  • Health Information Technology & Privacy (October 2011)  
  • EHR - Based Quality Measurement & Reporting: Critical for Meaningful Use and Health Care Improvement (April 2010)  
  • Health Information Technology & Privacy (April 2009)  
  • E-Health and Its Impact on Medical Practice (May 2008)  

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Medicare and Medicaid

  • Promoting Transparency and Alignment in Medicare Advantage (October 2017)
  • Medicaid Expansion: Premium Assistance and Other Options (March 2016)
  • Reforming Medicare in the Age of Deficit Reduction (April 2012)  
  • Medicaid and Health Care Reform (April 2011)  
  • Developing a Medicare Buy-in Program (October 2005)  

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Controlling Costs, Improving Effectiveness

  • Financial Profit in Medicine: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians (September 2021)
  • Improving Health Care Efficacy and Efficiency Through Increased Transparency (2017)
  • Addressing the Increasing Burden of Health Insurance Cost Sharing (2016)
  • Medical Liability (2014)  
  • The Role of Performance Assessment in a Reformed Health Care System (November 2011)  
  • How Can Our Nation Conserve and Distribute Health Care Resources Effectively and Efficiently? (January 2011)  
  • Healthcare Transparency - Focus on Price and Clinical Performance Information (September 2010)  
  • Controlling Health Care Costs While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcomes (September 2009)  
  • Improved Availability of Comparative Effectiveness Information: An Essential Feature for a High-quality and Efficient United States Health Care System (May 2008)  
  • Developing A Fair Process Through Which Physicians Participating in Performance Measurement Programs Can Request a Reconsideration of Their Ratings (April 2007)  

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Prescription Drugs and Public Health Related Topics

  • Policy Recommendations to Promote Prescription Drug Competition: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians (September 2020)
  • Racism and Health in the United States: A Policy Statement from the American College of Physicians (June 2020)
  • Policy Recommendations for Pharmacy Benefit Managers to Stem the Escalating Costs of Prescription Drugs (November 2019)
  • Policy Recommendations for Public Health Plans to Stem the Escalating Costs of Prescription Drugs (November 2019)
  • Patient Safety in the Office-Based Practice Setting (July 2017)
  • Climate Change and Health (April 2016)
  • Stemming the Escalating Cost of Prescription Drugs (March 2016)
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (April 2015)
  • Reducing Firearms-Related Deaths and Injuries (April 2014)
  • Prescription Drug Abuse (2013)
  • Statement of Principles on the Role of Governments in Regulating the Patient-Physician Relationship  (August 2012) 
  • Strengthening the Public Health Infrastructure (April 2012)  
  • Tobacco Control and Prevention (May 2010)  
  • Improving FDA Regulation of Prescription Drugs (September 2009)  
  • HIV Policy: The Path Forward; a Joint Statement of ACP and the HIV Medicine Association (April 2009)  
  • Establishing Federal Guidelines Protecting Against Genetic Discrimination (March 2008)  
  • Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana: An ACP Policy paper (February 2008)  
  • Language Services for Patients with Limited English Proficiency: Results of a National Survey of Internal Medicine Physicians (April 2007)  
  • Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising (April 2006)  
  • The Health Care Response to Pandemic Influenza (April 2006)  
  • Prescription Drug Importation as a Policy Option to Lower the Cost of Medications in the U.S. (October 2005)

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Workforce and Physician Shortage

  • Beyond the Referral: Principles of Effective, Ongoing Primary and Specialty Care Collaboration (April 2022)
  • Position Statement on Promoting Policy Standards for Workplace Violence Prevention and Management (September 2021)
  • Compensation Disparities by Gender in Internal Medicine (August 2018)
  • Achieving Gender Equity in Physician Compensation and Career Advancement (April 2018)
  • Promoting Transparency and Alignment in Medicare Advantage (July 2017)
  • Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care (March 2017)
  • Financing U.S. Graduate Medical Education (May 2016)
  • Principles Supporting Dynamic Clinical Care Teams (September 2013)
  • Aligning GME Policy with the Nation's Health Care Workforce Needs (September 2011)  
  • Five Prescriptions for Ensuring the Future of Primary Care (May 2011)  
  • Internists and Physician Assistants: Team-Based Primary Care (May 2010)  
  • Solutions to the Challenges Facing Primary Care Medicine (April 2009)
  • Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care (February 2009)  
  • How is a Shortage of Primary Care Physicians Affecting the Quality and Cost of Medical Care? (November 2008)  
  • The Role of International Medical Graduates in the U.S. Physician Workforce (September 2008)  
  • Revitalization of Internal Medicine: Overview of the Problem and Recommendations on Reducing Medical Student Debt (July 2003)

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All rights reserved. Individuals may reproduce all or parts of Public Policy Papers for educational, not-for-profit uses. These papers may not be reproduced for commercial, for-profit use in any form, by any means (electronic, mechanical, xerographic, or other) or held in any information storage or retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher.

For questions about the content of Public Policy Papers, please contact the ACP Division of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy , 25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001-7401. 202-261-4500. To order copies of position papers, please contact us.