The American College of Physicians, the nation's second-largest physician organization and its largest medical specialty society, is calling for the passage of the Senate's reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In a letter sent Dec. 22 to Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D.-Mont.), and Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), ACP President Joseph Stubbs, M.D., wrote that the bill “would advance the goals of providing all Americans with affordable coverage, averting a catastrophic shortage of primary care physicians, and improving healthcare delivery and payment systems to achieve better value for patients and taxpayers.”
Stubbs said that he was writing to express the 129,000-member, Philadelphia-based internal medicine organization's “firm belief that the Senate should vote in favor of H.R. 3590.”
Though it applauded policies in the bill that “support the value of care provided by primary care physicians,” the letter said the organization was “greatly concerned” that a proposed 10% Medicare primary care bonus would exclude most primary care internists. It also argued for the removal of penalties against doctors who don't participate in the CMS Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative, or PQRI. The ACP also posted a just-over-four-pages-long document on its Web site that breaks down what it supports about the bill, what it doesn't, and suggestions for further improvement.
The nation's largest physician organization, the 236,000-member American Medical Association, announced its support for the bill on Dec. 21.