ACP offers resources to help physicians navigate telehealth technology
ACP is committed to helping internists take advantage of telehealth technology to improve patient care and outcomes and offers resources breaking down a physician's telehealth options, insurance coverage, applicable billing codes, and ACP policy guidance, as well as a cost-benefit calculator. These and other resources are available online.
ACP issues policy recommendations to cut prescription drug costs
ACP called for changes to address the rising cost of prescription drugs in two recent position papers. In the first, which addresses public health programs, ACP supports:
- changes to the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy program cost-sharing and copayment structures to encourage the use of lower-cost generic or biosimilar drugs,
- annual out-of-pocket spending caps for Medicare Part D beneficiaries,
- adoption of Medicare Part D negotiation models that would drive down the price of prescription drugs for beneficiaries,
- efforts to minimize the financial impact on the federal government of prescription drug misclassification in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, and
- further study of payment models in federal health care programs.
The second paper offered recommendations to improve information about drug pricing for physicians and patients. ACP supports:
- improved transparency, standards, and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), including a ban on “gag clauses,”
- availability of accurate, understandable, and actionable information on the price of prescription medication, and
- public reporting by health plans, PBMs, and pharmaceutical manufacturers about the amount paid for prescription drugs, aggregate rebates, and nonproprietary pricing information.
Both papers and an accompanying editorial were published Nov. 12, 2019, by Annals of Internal Medicine.
ACP's Online Learning Center search function enhanced
ACP's Online Learning Center has implemented new search functionality for quicker and easier discovery of learning activities by product, format, or keyword. The Online Learning Center contains hundreds of curated CME and MOC activities that match physicians' interests and needs for modular education and are available in various formats, including interactive multimedia, journal articles, podcasts and audio content, and video recordings. New content is added weekly. Most activities in the Online Learning Center are free to ACP members.
ACP Ethics Manual now available in Spanish
The ACP Ethics Manual, 7th edition, is now available in a Spanish-language edition. The Ethics Manual offers ethical guidance on genetic testing, telemedicine, end-of-life care, human subjects research, and more. New or significantly expanded sections include those on precision medicine and genetic testing, research and protection of human subjects, telemedicine, electronic communications, social media and online professionalism, electronic health records, and physician volunteerism. The Spanish-language version can be accessed online.
ICYMI: Highlights from ACP Internist Weekly
- ACP issues new guidance on colorectal cancer screening. Screening is recommended for average-risk adults between the ages of 50 and 75 years who have no symptoms, with frequency depending on the screening approach selected. The guidance statement suggests use of a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test every two years, colonoscopy every 10 years, or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 10 years plus FIT every two years. Clinicians and patients should discuss which screening methods to use based on benefits, harms, costs, availability, frequency, and patient preferences, the guidance statement said. The statement was published Nov. 5, 2019, by Annals of Internal Medicine and was summarized in the Nov. 5 ACP Internist Weekly.
- Statins not associated with memory or cognition decline in elderly. Researchers examined associations between changes in memory and global cognition in 642 patients who took statins versus 395 patients who never had and found no significant difference in rate of decline. Participants who took statins continuously had significantly higher baseline performance in memory and global cognition compared to never-users, with a similar rate of decline in memory and global cognition over the six-year observation period. The study was published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on Nov. 18, 2019, and was summarized in the Nov. 19 ACP Internist Weekly.